Pilot identified in fatal Georgia plane crash

- Officials have identified a pilot killed when a small plane crashed in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood, setting a home ablaze.

Robert George Westlake, 78, of Atlanta, was the only victim of Friday's plane crash, according to the Cobb County Department of the Public Safety.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have been at the scene investigating for two days since the wreck. On Saturday, NTSB officials found a "cockpit" recorder at the crash site, which will help to determine what happened minutes before the crash.

It happened around 7:20 p.m. The FAA said a Cessna Citation I aircraft headed to Fulton County Airport went down into a home in the Piedmont Hill subdivision in north Cobb County.

WATCH: The immediate aftermath of the crash

A Cobb County Fire Department spokesperson says the plane crashed next to a house and exploded. The house next door caught on fire from the radiant heat and was fully engulfed when the department arrived on the scene, she said.

Cobb County Police say the couple who lived in the home were at church at the time. Authorities say the home is a total loss.

"And I heard a plane and it sounded like it was flying really, really low and about the time I started to look and see where it was, there was a boom and huge explosion, and a large fireball," said Duncan Elrod.

Elrod was nearby working on a roof. He rushed down to see if he could help and when it became apparent that he couldn't, he started filming the immediate aftermath of the crash.

Elrod said he thought the pilot might have been trying to land of the street, but the angle was just too sharp and the pilot could not make it.

WATCH: A first look on the ground at the scene

The plane made a distress call shortly before the crash.

Some of the residents in the neighborhood said they witnessed the plane as it came down while they were hanging out in their backyard.

"I look up and I see a plane, i don't hear it, i just see it first, and I see it do a spin," said Hunter Scoggins. "It went over its nose and we just all covered our ears because we thought it would be loud."

"I noticed they were looking up in the sky and I see a plane going straight down, it was going down in a corkscrew fashion, it was really slow, I couldn't hear an engine," said John Perry.

WATCH: App users click here to watch the embedded video from the crash scene

A large black plume of smoke could be seen for miles the area of the crash.

WATCH: Smoke could be seen from miles around the crash

Neighbors told FOX 5 News the family which lives in the home were at church at the time of the crash. They were shocked when they returned back to their subdivision to discover their home completely on fire.

A Cessna Citation I aircraft is about 43 feet long with a 47 foot wingspan. The small-sized business jet can hold five passengers and two crew members.

WATCH: Special team coverage

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