Federal investigators are looking into what caused a small plane to crash near Blairstown Airport in New Jersey's Warren County late Friday morning, local police and federal officials said.
The single-engine Piper Cherokee 140 plane went down on Sipply Road shortly after it departed the airport around 11:30 a.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration officials. It made a forced landing about 50 feet across a front yard and rural road, crashing into some bushes.
The two people on the plane -- the pilot and a friend of his -- did not sustain life-threatening injuries, according to the plane's co-owner, who declined to be named. He said the plane's passenger had to have stitches over one eye.
Joe Orlando, a pilot who flies small planes in the area, said the Piper Cherokee had no chance to make it back to the airport in the first few seconds after takeoff.
"If you're not 800 feet above the ground, you don't even try to make it back to the runway. You're just looking for somewhere open to put the plane down," he said.
While no one wanted to speak on the record, several pilots speculated the heat and thin air could have combined to contribute to the accident.
One person told NBC 4 New York he heard no problem with the engine as the plane took off.
The FAA said it is investigating the crash.