VICTORIA -- Two people walked away without serious injuries after their small plane went down near Victoria Tuesday morning.

Saanich firefighters and officials with the military's Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre said they were notified of a downed plane near Mount Douglas shortly before 9 a.m.

Saanich police say a male pilot and his male passenger were able to exit the plane before firefighters arrived.

The plane crash-landed on its roof near a farm on Beckwith Avenue. Fire officials say the plane's engine was leaking oil onto the windscreen, obscuring the view of the pilot as it was going down. 

The aircraft's tail number is registered to a four-seat, single-engine, 1981 Cessna owned by the Victoria Flying Club.

Members of the flying club told CTV News the pilot has a military aviation background and only recently earned his private licence. He was in the process of acquiring flying hours Tuesday, they said.

Dale Albury was working on a roof in the Gordon Head area when he says he heard a plane coming in low overhead.

"I noticed this one was really low and as it passed overhead it was smoking really bad and I immediately knew something was wrong," Albury told CTV News.

He said the small craft continued for about 400 metres when a piece of it came off and the plane headed for the ground.

"It looked like the engine failed and blew a piece off the plane. It fell over Mount Doug Park and after that the engine cut out."

Albury said the plane banked left as if to attempt an emergency landing on the Pat Bay Highway.

The dislodged piece turned out to be the plane's propeller, which was lost approximately a kilometre from the crash site.

A teacher heading to work at the nearby St. Margaret's School told CTV News she heard the plane sputtering and then saw it fly over the school and under some power lines before it crashed.

The plane wreckage was hauled away early Tuesday afternoon. Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board are still investigating.