WILSON, N.Y. (WIVB) - Six people were on board including the pilot, who, News 4 is told has been flying planes for around 40 years.
One person is listed in critical condition Monday morning.
The six seat Cessna had just taken off and was heading up to drop off another round of skydivers Sunday afternoon.
But around 30 to 40 feet from the ground, the plane took a sharp left turn into a heavily wooded area and overturned, breaking apart as it crashed.
Wilson resident Jake Thompson said, "All of the sudden we heard metal, just metal hitting a lawnmower little louder, more deep, but nothing you'd think was a plane crash."
Jim Voutour of the Niagara County Sheriff added, "It's nothing short of a miracle the plane is completely destroyed. It's in several pieces. Our first look at it we were amazed anybody's alive."
Officials say a woman and five men were on board.
John Huber of Frontier Skydivers said, "One was a tandem student, she came here for the first time."
The rest were experienced skydivers, including the pilot.
The crash is a first for the Niagara Frontier Skydivers.
The club safety adviser says it's a relatively safe sport.
Huber stated, "This drop zone did 3,600 jumps last year, no fatalities, and only three minor injuries."
Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour says the crash happened less than 25 yards from the runway.
"I'd have to say that the trees probably saved the lives of the people because it kinda gave the aircraft a soft landing, several broken tree limbs, added Voutour.
The Sheriff says that the pilot was walking around after the crash.
All of the victims were taken to ECMC. Their names aren't being released right now.
Federal investigators are in town to begin to figure out what caused this small plane to go down.