A small plane crashed in a field Thursday after doing several loops, killing all three people on board, authorities said.

The single-engine Beechcraft plane was approaching Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield when it crashed, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said in a statement.

Witnesses reported they heard a plane, saw it doing loops and heard a crash, Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson said.

"I assume it wasn't for entertainment. It was probably distress," he said.

Authorities were investigating. The plane was registered to someone in Rochester, Molinaro said.