Owner of crashed plane identified

A single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza plane that crashed Monday night in Marin County west of Novato is registered to Robert John Madge, a Redwood City resident, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane departed from Brookings, Oregon, and was heading to San Carlos. The pilot reported engine troubles around 9:30 p.m. and said he would try to make it to Gnoss Field in Novato, Gregor said.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot shortly afterward and the plane crashed, killing the pilot. Authorities have not released the identity of the pilot, who is believed to be the only person on board the plane.

The wreckage was found around 4 a.m. and the crash apparently started a brush fire on a rural ranch in west Marin County north of Hicks Valley, Marin County sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman said.

Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Giannini said the fire, initially estimated at 40 acres, was later determined by GPS tracking to have burned 32 acres.

Firefighters from the Marin County Fire Department and Cal Fire were still at the scene this afternoon, Giannini said.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the crash site this afternoon.