TOWN OF DOVER — The pilot of a small plane was killed when it crashed into a yard near Eagle Lake at about noon on Sunday, A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
The crash ignited the aircraft, two homes, two cars, a garage and more, according to Chief Chad Franks of the Kansasville Fire Department.
The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza was flying from Chicago Executive Airport to Minocqua in north-central Wisconsin when it crashed and hit a building, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said. The pilot, who was the only person onboard, was killed and the plane was destroyed, he said, but no injuries on the ground were reported.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
Franks called the fire a “large ball of flame.”
People living near the crash site described the blaze in similar terms.
“It was just flames,” said Brian Block, who lives along Lakeshore Drive close to the crash scene in the 24000 block of Kennedy Avenue.
Block, 54, was sitting in his living room just before the crash when he heard the sound of a plane engine, louder than normal and close by.
“Then ‘kaboom!’ The whole house shook,” he said.
Block jumped in his car and drove a block to the scene where he saw major flames coming from a small plane now sitting in a neighbor’s yard.
The plane reportedly landed there, causing a fire that spread fast, Franks said.
“Fire units quickly extinguished the flames, which destroyed the plane, a garage, two cars, damaged two homes and other outbuildings. The incident is now under investigation by the Racine County Sheriff’s Office and the FAA,” Franks said.
Media were not allowed near the crash site, but neighbors described a ruinous scene.
Travis Barstad, 21, said after fires were extinguished, debris, including plane parts, remained everywhere. Roofing and siding hung off houses and burned car shells were visible.
Barstad, a college student from Burlington, was at his mother’s Eagle Lake home when the plane hit six houses away. He heard an explosion and “stuff was falling off the walls,” he said.
Barstad stepped outside and saw cars, sheds and trees on fire.
“I heard people screaming, ‘It’s a plane! It’s a plane!’ ” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.