The pilot, who declined to comment, appeared to be in his 60s. He had a gash on the left side of his head, but appeared otherwise unharmed.
Watsonville Fire Capt. John Martorella said the pilot was alone in the plane, and was able to extricate himself from the wreckage.
Witnesses, who declined to give their names, said the pilot was landing, but airport manager Rayvon Williams was unable to confirm.
The runway was cleared about 6 p.m. with the help of crews from nearby businesses.