Police have named the victim in the crash of a small plane  just outside Waterloo International Airport in southern Ontario on Monday morning.

Waterloo regional police say the dead man is Janic Volcec of Kitchener, Ont. The 65-year-old is the aircraft's pilot and owner. He was the only occupant of the plane.

Airport officials say the crash was reported at around 8:30 a.m. but they could not confirm whether the plane was preparing for landing or had just taken off.

The plane caught on fire after it crashed but the Mary Hill fire department has since put out the blaze.

"(I) just heard a big bang. I looked around and there was a big ball of fire," said one man who works nearby. "As soon as I could, I grabbed my phone and told my boss to call 911, then ran over but there were flames everywhere so we couldn't get really close."

The plane is believed to be a home-built model called Europa but officials have not confirmed the type of aircraft that crashed.

Transport Canada, police and Emergency Medical Services are on the scene investigating the incident.

Volcec reportedly built the aircraft himself in 2007.

With files from The Canadian Press