Pilot dies of injuries from Allegheny County Airport plane fire in July
A pilot who suffered burns to his body and face in a plane fire last month at the Allegheny County Airport has succumbed to his injuries.
Ira Saligman, 53, of Wayne, Delaware County, died at 11:53 p.m. Sunday in the UPMC Mercy burn unit, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office supervisor.
The Yak-11 propeller airplane Saligman was flying caught fire after landing on Runway 28 at the airport at 9:45 a.m. July 25, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a written statement.
Allegheny County Airport Authority officials confirmed the plane did not take off from the airport and did not file a flight plan with the airport.
The pilot contacted the airport tower when he was about 20 miles east, said Jeff Martinelli, Allegheny County Airport Authority's vice president for customer relations.
“At that point, he indicated that he was just going to land here,” Martinelli said. “There was no indication of any emergency situation whatsoever.”
FAA crews in the airport's control tower first noticed the plane was on fire shortly after it landed and notified the pilot, he said.
The pilot got out of the aircraft before emergency personnel arrived on the scene.
West Mifflin No. 3 Volunteer Fire Company firefighters extinguished the flames, and the airport reopened by 11:15 a.m., Martinelli said.