A 69-year-year pilot is dead after a small plane crashed at the Skagit County Regional Airport near Burlington.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer says the pilot of a single-engine Piper PA-12 died when the plane crashed during take off.

Kenitzer says the plane went down just after 1 p.m. Thursday.

TV news footage showed the plane lying upside down on grass next to a runway. The plane's front and one wing were smashed.

Kenitzer says witnesses described the plane going "straight up, then straight down."

The Skagit Valley Herald reports the pilot was a 69-year-old man from Bow, Wash., a small town 10 miles north of Burlington.

The Skagit County sheriff's office says the man was working on his plane before the doomed flight. His name has not been released.