A Maine airport manager says three people have died after a small plane that departed from Ontario bound for Prince Edward Island crashed during an attempted landing.

Jesse Crandall says witnesses saw the airplane pass over Greenville Municipal Airport, bank sharply and then descend suddenly to the ground on the approach to the runway.

He says he drove quickly to the airport just minutes after the mid-morning crash but first responders on the scene told him there were no survivors in the twin-engine propeller Aerostar AEST aircraft.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane had departed Pembroke, Ont., and was bound for Charlottetown.

Jim Peters said the National Transportation Safety Agency is looking into the matter and will investigate the probable cause of the accident, about 250 kilometres west of the Canadian border.

Crandall said when he arrived at the scene the plane was in a field, and first responders found the bodies in the fuselage.

He said he was contacted before the crash by aviation authorities informing him the small plane had requested an emergency landing.