"Witnesses are reporting the plane spun or spiraled prior to impacting. At this point it's unclear whether the pilot was trying to make a forced landing or return to the airport," said NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Jennifer Rodi.
Rodi adds the people on board reported losing engine power immediately after takeoff. The plane hit the ground, resulting in a fire. Flames "mostly destroyed" the plane, Rodi said, which will inhibit the investigation.
The people onboard haven't been identified.
Cellphone video from the area, provided by KRDO-TV, showed the small grass fire. A plume of smoke was visible from a traffic camera looking southeast from Powers and Platte. The airport is located on the west side of Colorado Springs.
The plane's destination was not known, Colorado Springs Fire Chief Christopher P. Riley said. Thirty-five firefighters from several agencies responded and doused the grass fire.