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COTTONWOOD, Ariz. -- Authorities say a student pilot is recovering after mistaking a road for a runway and crashing his plane into a fence.

The crash happened Monday night at the Cottonwood Municipal Airport.

Cottonwood police say the 42-year-old pilot from Oklahoma told them he thought the runway lights were malfunctioning and thought a road bordering the airport was the runway.

He realized his mistake but was unable to pull up. The plane then hit the fence.

Cottonwood firefighters contained a fuel leak that resulted from the crash.

Police did not identify the pilot. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The plane, a Piper PA28, was heavily damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

Associated Press,

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