By BRIAN ROKOS

The pilot of a twin-engine Piper PA23 was killed Thursday, April 30, when his airplane crashed in a rugged, remote area of southwest Riverside County, authorities said.

The pilot was believed to be the only person aboard, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Riverside County Coroner’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jim Bankston confirmed that the victim died. The victim’s name has not been publicly announced.

The plane went down under unknown circumstances near Bautista Canyon about 12:20 p.m., approximately 15 miles southeast of Hemet, Gregor said. The crash site appeared to be off Forest Road 2E43, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said.

A similar plane had been reported overdue at an unspecified location, Gregor said.

Cal Fire said a brush fire broke out at the crash site and burned a quarter-acre. A Cal Fire crew was lowered to the area, where they put out the flames and hiked to the wreckage.

A sheriff’s helicopter was also on the scene.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.