PALMER LAKE, Colo. — A single-engine plane crashed near Palmer Lake Wednesday morning, killing the two people on board, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Neighbors said the plane looked like it was trying to land on the lake, moving very low and slow, sort of wobbling back and forth until it took a nose dive and then crashed just south of the railroad tracks near the Santa Fe Trail.

“At this time the plane is a complete loss. Due to the fire we’re unable to identify a tail number,” Sgt. Mitchell with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.

There’s no way to know where it took off or where it was headed.

When the plane crashed, it went up flames, creating a grass fire which burned less than a quarter of an acre before firefighters put it out.

“As you can see there are quite a few residents up on the hill literally just hundreds of yards from the crash site itself,” said Mitchell.

Officials said it’s still unknown why the plane went down. The wreckage has been removed from the area and taken to Greeley, where investigators say it will take at least a year to determine the cause.

“Eyewitnesses said the plane appeared to be having some mechanical issues and obviously there’s high winds and gusting winds in the area at this time,” Mitchell said.

The victims have been identified as Dan Murray, 77, and Jeff Kaplitz, 60.

The scene of a plane crash near Palmer Lake Wednesday morning. The burned-out frame of the plane can be seen in front of the white truck. / Tyler Barton - FOX21 News