A 74-year-old El Cajon man was killed Thursday when he took off in an experimental aircraft at Brown Field, authorities said.
E. W. Colter Cunningham was the only person aboard the Prescott Pusher when it departed at 9:45 a.m. and crashed shortly afterward about 1 1/2 miles northwest of Brown Field, said Elly Brekke, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Brekke said air-traffic controllers noticed that the aircraft was unstable when it was about 100 feet off the ground. Cunningham reported he was experiencing engine problems and was not able to make it back to the airfield.
He died at the crash scene.
Brekke said the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.