By Marissa Perlman

WILTON (CBS13) – A terrifying plane crash happened in Sacramento County Thursday, and everyone on board was able to walk out alive.

Shock and disbelief built as neighbors captured on video the huge smoke cloud as the small plane crashed onto the front lawn of a Wilton home, east of Elk Grove.

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CBS13 was told the plane was in the air for less than a minute before it hit the ground.

“I had to come back to see it,” said Steve Scharff.

Scharff was being called a hero as he visited the crash site a day later. He was one of the first people to see the crash, and he stopped his truck to get out a fire extinguisher and help those on board to safety.

“The plane hits the ground, I hit the side of the ground, and got a fire extinguisher out of my truck and did what I did,” he said.

He said it’s a miracle everyone made it out alive.

“It’s crazy to see a mangled airplane and know that five bodies survived this,” Scharff said.

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The plane is believed to be an AN2 aircraft. Aviation experts say its only one of three known in the U.S.

One of the others is owned by Alan Casner in Auburn.

“They are rare in the U.S., but in other countries, they are everywhere,” said Casner.

His aircraft is the same make and model as the one that crashed. The plane has a 60-foot wingspan and can seat 12 people. It runs on aviation gas and not jetfuel.

Casner calls it like a flying truck and credits the plane for protecting those onboard.

“It goes to the testament to the strength of this thing this thing is phenomenal, its built like a tank,” said Casner.

CBS13 likely won’t hear from investigators regarding an official cause of the crash for about a month.

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Former clients of the pilot said he is certified as a Designated Airworthiness Representative, meaning he’s the guy who determines on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration who is eligible to fly.