The pilot of the homebuilt Lancair Legacy, with tail number N7JX, declared an emergency stating that his engine was on fire before the crash that happened north of an apple orchard, Gregor said.
It was not known where the aircraft departed from or was heading to. The pilot didn't file a fight plan, according to Gregor.
The Santa Cruz County coroner's office hasn't released the man's identity.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.