Bonanza N1521S Down in Annapolis, MD

EDGEWATER, Md. (WJZ/AP) ― A single-engine plane crashed Saturday, killing the pilot, as the aircraft was returning to Lee Airport in Edgewater.

A plane crashes killing the pilot, as the aircraft was returning to Lee Airport in Edgewater.

Weijia Jiang reports the single-engine plane with a lone person on board shattered into pieces on Warehouse Creek Ln. in Edgewater Saturday afternoon.

“I heard a loud crash. It sounded like a big boat falling from 20 feet hitting the water. I just went, ‘swoosh,’” said Richard Maio.

The aircraft landed just three or four feet away from Maio’s rental property. His own house is right next door.

“I called 911 immediately,” said Maio.

Investigators say it first crashed into a set of trees then caught fire around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The plane just missed the creek.

“There was a sheen of oil or fuel on the water. The Maryland Department of the Environment was requested,” said Div. Chief Michael Cox, Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

“I turned the water on, and Barry, the next door neighbor, helped me put out,” said Maio. “I was concerned because I was concerned the fire was going to ignite the house.”

Amazingly, the only damage to the house was to the vinyl siding which melted slightly. Maio and his tenant were uninjured despite the tremendous damage to the plane.

It was registered to Joseph Kelly of Annapolis, but authorities have not confirmed he is the victim.

The manager of Lee Airport says the pilot was attempting to land at the airport, but instead he crashed just a quarter of a mile away, across Route 2.

Maio says he’s seen it happen one too many times.

“This is the third time since I’ve been here,” said Maio.

In 2006, two fatal accidents happened near the airport. The details are chillingly similar to Saturday’s crash. In both cases, the single-engine planes hit trees near the runway while trying to land.

“It’s a sad situation, especially when police told me he was dead. It’s sad it happens,” said Maio.