Two people have died after their single engine plane crashed at Santa Monica Airport.

Santa Monica police Lt. Ken Semko says the plane slammed into the ground at the west end of the airfield at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Semko says witnesses say the plane took off but encountered problems and tried to return to the airport.

The plane was engulfed in flames but no one on the ground was injured.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane was a Marchetti F260. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.