A man and woman were killed when a small plane operated by a flight school crashed near a runway of Bay Bridge Airport in Queen Anne's County, Maryland State Police said.
The single-engine plane crashed about 200 yards from the runway of the airport on Kent Island in Stevensville, Maryland, landing in a field and then catching fire.
"It exploded into flames once it made contact with the ground," Cpl. DaVaughn Parker said.
Witness Denny Proffitt said he was eating lunch in his truck nearby when he saw the plane fly low over the tree line.
"A couple seconds later, I saw the smoke," he said.
Proffitt ran through the field toward the wreckage to try to rescue the plane's passengers.
"I drove my truck over and grabbed my fire extinguisher and ran out to it and tried to put the flames out," he said. "They were both already gone."
The man and woman, who were not identified immediately, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 12:45 p.m.
The two-seat plane was operated by Chesapeake Sport Pilot, a flight school that operates from the airport. A man associated with the school said no student of the school was on board at the time of the crash.
The flight school said in a statement that the company will cooperate with the investigation.
"Chesapeake Sport Pilot is a close knit community of individuals who share a passion for aviation, and I know we will all grieve this loss for some time," the statement said. "We offer our help and support to all those affected."
The crash is under investigation. National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators were notified. FAA offcials are at the scene.