A 63-year-old Laytonville man died in a private airplane crash Thursday night at about 7:30 p.m. in Laytonville.
Kenneth Howard Gillespie, owner of Long Valley Lumber, was apparently trying to land on his private air strip when the plane crashed, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. No one else was aboard.
Sheriff Tom Allman said this morning that he knew Gillespie and "he appeared to be a very experienced pilot."
The Federal Aviation Administration is in the area and will lead the investigation into the crash while the MCSO will lead the death investigation.
Gillespie was flying a small Cessna that he owned at the time of the crash.
An autopsy has been scheduled.