STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) –Authorities have identified two people killed in a plane crash in Queen Anne’s County on Tuesday.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused a two-seater plane to crash as it was approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Airport.

George Solis has more.

The first emergency call came in just after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Within minutes, first responders knew it was a dire situation as the plane burst into flames.

“This was not on fire in the air. It exploded into flames once it made contact with the ground,” said Corporal Davaughn Parker, Maryland State Trooper.

NTSB investigators say the plane–a Van’s RV-12 wit tail number N278VA– was trying to land in a small field near the Ellendale Manor community, in Stevensville when it crashed, killing Richard Hess, 63, and Janet Metz, 56, both of Ellicott City.

Those closest to the wreck tell WJZ they did their best to save the victims, but it was too late.

The plane was with the Chesapeake Sport Pilot school, where Fred Lango is an instructor. He says Hess also worked there.

“We send our sincerest thought and prayers to the friends and family of those involved in this tragedy,” a Chesapeake Sport Pilot spokesperson said on Tuesday. “Chesapeake Sport Pilot is a close knit community of individuals who share a passion for aviation, and I know we will all grieve this loss for some time. We offer our help and support to all those affected.”

WJZ obtained this photo of Metz from her Facebook page.

The NTSB is continuing to investigate the crash, but couldn’t provide any additional details on Wednesday.

Those who knew Hess and Metz are in disbelief.

“I was shocked.  It’s a quiet neighborhood, you see these folks day in day out working around the house,” said Saville Scheler, who lives across the street from the Hess family.

He and others in the neighborhood are heartbroken by the news of Richard’s passing.

Close friends and neighbors tell WJZ Richard and his family were people of strong faith and well respected in their church community.

WJZ also met with Metz’s fiance.

He was too emotionally distraught to go on camera but said “we have lost a very special person,” in a Facebook post.

The NTSB will be out on the scene the next few days, trying to figure out the exact cause of the crash.

NTSB says it will have a preliminary report in three to ten days. A full report and cause of the crash may take a year.

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