BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A pilot was killed in a small plane crash near the Boulder Municipal Airport Monday morning.

The crash happened at approximately 7:45 a.m. near the intersection of 57th and Independence Road. The pilot was the only person on board.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The plane, a Mooney D20C, was taking off when the crash took place, according to authorities. The pilot was flying from Boulder to Broomfield.

The plane was fully engulfed in flames with emergency vehicles arrived.

“Witnesses who saw the plane crash reported that the plane was on fire and that they had not seen any movement from within the plane,” Cmdr. Jeff Hendry with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“I honestly didn’t think it was a plane at first,” witness Jeff Slater said. “The flames were so big you couldn’t identify that it was a plane. I thought it was a burning vehicle on the side of the road or possibly a little forest fire starting. I immediately knew that everybody was dead in it. Once I could see the tail fin sticking up I realized it was the plane that had just taken off.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Boulder County Coroner’s Office are investigating the crash.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that the plane struck the westbound lane of Independence Road propeller first, with the plane catching fire after impact,” Hendry said.

The pilot’s name hasn’t been released.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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