Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Donahue said the pilot radioed Catalina's Airport in the Sky to report he was having chest pains that could indicate a heart attack and didn't think he could make the runway.
It's believed the pilot was the only person on board. His condition is unknown.
Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Frederic Stowers said about 25 acres of light grass and brush burned. About 20 firefighters were battling the flames. Late Wednesday night, the fire was approximately 80 percent contained.