(CBS4) – Moments before a small plane crashed in a Broomfield neighborhood on Sunday and killed two people aboard, a person on the ground said he heard abnormal noises coming from the aircraft.

(credit: CBS)

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said that the witness is an experienced pilot and he heard what he described as “carburetor coughs” while the plane was on its departure path.

The aircraft was a Piper PA-32-260 and it departed from the Erie Municipal Airport at 11:45 a.m. during clear conditions.

“The aircraft climbed on a shallow climb path and about half a mile from the departure end of runway 15 made a left turn and impacted terrain,” said NTSB spokesman Mike Folkerts during a Monday morning news conference.

It hit the ground less than a minute after takeoff near the intersection of Anthem Ranch Road and Las Brisas Drive in the Anthem Ranch neighborhood in northern Broomfield.

“It impacted with a left wing down attitude. After it impacted it hit a tree and came to rest,” Folkerts said.

(credit: CBS4 YouReporter Susan Roth)

No one witnessed the crash, but neighbors responded quickly to scene to see if there was any way they could help.

“It’s remarkable that no homes or cars were hit, or even pedestrians on the ground were hit by this plane,” said Broomfield police spokeswoman Rachel Haslett said.

The two victim both held pilot’s licenses and their identities haven’t been released. They were ejected from the plane when it went down and both died.

“All three of us checked them for pulses, and there was no sign of life,” said Barbara Huntington, one of the Broomfield residents who rushed to the scene.

Earlier this month one person was killed in another single-engine plane crash in a different part of Broomfield. Last year Broomfield residents were among those showered with debris when a commercial airliner suffered a violent engine failure. No one was hurt in that incident.

Jesse Sarles