KIMBALL TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- U.S. authorities say a 51-year-old man from Ottawa has died after a small plane crashed in Michigan.

The St. Clair County sheriff's office says the man, who was the pilot of the aircraft, was the only person on board and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The sheriff's office says authorities started looking for the plane early Thursday after a report that it was overdue at the St. Clair County International Airport in Kimball Township, about 80 kilometres northeast of Detroit.

The crash was discovered next to softball fields near the airport.

The twin-engine Cessna had what the sheriff's office described as extensive damage.

U.S. federal authorities planned to investigate the cause of the crash.