PHOENIX — Authorities say a pilot and his passenger are critically injured after the crash of a small plane in north Phoenix just east of the Deer Valley Airport.

Phoenix Fire Department officials say the plane aircraft went down around noon Tuesday and went through a fence and lodged into a tree alongside a road leading to the airport.

The two men were extricated from the wreckage and taken to a north Phoenix hospital by ambulance.

Their names and ages aren’t immediately available.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the pilot of a single-engine Grumman AA-1 reported a mechanical problem shortly after departure from Deer Valley Airport.

He says the pilot indicated he would try to return to the airport, but the plane crashed about a half mile from the runway.