SPRINGFIELD, N.J. - A small plane that crashed in New Jersey on its way to Hyannis was carrying two men on an "Angel Flight" to pick up a patient, according to New Jersey State Police.
Both the pilot, Robert Winner, 69, and co-pilot, Timothy Scannevin, 71, were killed in the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the Hawker Beechcraft 58 Baron aircraft went down Wednesday morning in Springfield Township.
According to Angel Flight East officials, this is the first crash in this group's 20-year history. Winter had been on four previous Angel Flight East missions.
The crew would have been bound for Philadelphia after they picked up the patient in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
NEW: Photo of pilot Robert Winner, (left) who died along with his co-pilot, after a crash on a flight from NJ to #Hyannis to pick up a MA patient for an "Angel Flight" to Philly.— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) June 14, 2018
Winner had volunteered for Angel Flights East since 2013.
Photo shows a flight from May.@boston25 pic.twitter.com/HlQNzkrifK
The plane had taken off around 9 a.m. from South Jersey Regional Airport in Lumberton, about 10 miles southwest of the crash scene.
The FAA is investigating the crash.
Garrett Andrew Rodriguez-Maribona, who was at the scene shortly after the crash occurred, told Boston 25 News that he and another man tried to see if there were any survivors but soon realized there were not.
"[I was] just cruising, listening to music that’s when I saw this huge wall of smoke come across the road really fast and i saw in the smoke was the shadow of an object," said Rodriguez-Maribona. "We heard it it sounded exactly like a plane that’s why we drove down this way."
Angel Flight East says Robert Winner had flown 16 previous flights as a volunteer for their organization and "gave generously of his time to help others."https://t.co/YgRtUfXBkQ— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) June 14, 2018
Rodriguez-Maribona and another driver searched through the wreckage until they discovered one of the two bodies.
According to Flightaware, the Beechcraft Baron 58 took off from South Jersey Regional Airport at 9:04 a.m. destination Hyannis. It climbed to 1,300 feet and then dropped 800 feet in 18 seconds. When the plane hit the ground, it shattered into pieces.
The cause and circumstances of the crash are still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
In a press conference on Thursday, NTSB officials said there was no distress call made by the pilot about any issues with the plane, and the investigation is to find out what happened and how to prevent it in the future.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.