SkyEye 13 was above an area in the 11200 block of Spencer Highway where the plane came to rest.
According to Texas DPS, the pilot took off and immediately noticed engine trouble. The pilot tried to put the plane down safely, but glanced off a nearby building, damaging the roof.
"My fan actually shook really bad. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, something just happened,'" neighbor Pricilla Salazar said.
Salazar lives near the La Porte Municipal Airport, and only feet away from the crash.
The pilot told investigators that he was looking for an underpopulated area to land the plane, and decided to land across the street from the airport. He was about 1,000 to 2,000 feet away from a neighborhood.
"It's a scary thing to know that it could have crashed into one of our houses," Salazar said.
DPS says the pilot was the only person on board the plane, and was not injured.
Crash investigators with the National Transportation and Safety Board are working to figure out what exactly happened.