LA VERNE (CBSLA.com) — A pilot escaped serious injury Thursday when his small plane went down and burst into flames outside Brackett Field Airport in La Verne.

The aircraft crashed about 1:45 p.m. as the pilot was trying to land at the airfield, according to the La Verne Fire Department.

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Janeen Borger said she could not believe her eyes when she saw the plane clip a AAA sign across the street from the airport and then strike a fence before catching fire. “I was like: ‘Oh, my gosh. Is this what I’m seeing?’ You know, it hit really softly. But it rolled, and then it exploded,” she said.

“The boom was a boom. But when it hit, it was like really soft, just kind of like a bump in the road. You know what I mean? But then the explosion,” Borger said.

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One of Borger’s co-workers captured the blast on his mobile phone. The video shows popping noises coming from the plane moments after it crashed.

The pilot escaped the burning plane with only bumps and bruises. “He got out luckily and ran to safety, and it exploded. It only took less than five minutes,” Borger said.

La Verne police said when officers arrived on scene, they found the pilot sitting on the curb.  He was airlifted to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to be checked out but is said to be OK.

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Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer described the craft as a single-engine Cessna 210. The cause of the crash is under investigation.