WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- Family and friends are in mourning after a fatal plane crash in Cherokee County.

The pilot, Steven Silver, was the only person onboard when the aircraft went down early this morning.

On Saturday, his family was too overcome with grief to talk about it. But 11Alive spoke to neighbors who will miss their friend. Dave Greenstein reflected on a good neighbor he lost tragically Saturday morning in a fatal plane crash.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Pilot identified in deadly Cherokee County plane crash

“Our kids got attached to him pretty quickly and he has a dog, Lucy, that they like to go over and play with,” he said.

The Woodstock resident’s twin engine Cessna 412 crashed near the Cherokee Regional Airport around midnight.

“I know he used to fly up north to pick up his kids and come visit from Illinois,” Greenstein said. “He'd rather be doing that than riding on a commercial plane.”

He said Silver was a Vietnam vet who also served as a medic.

Investigators believe Silver was trying to land when his plane collided with a row of utility poles. He ultimately crashed into a 2-foot-deep retention pond not far from the runway. Officials said that when the plane crashed, it caught on fire. Silver died on impact.

No one was home when authorities arrived at the Silver home so they talked to the Greensteins who just so happened to be babysitting silver's dog Lucy while he was out of town.

“He was just a very accepting gregarious guy he'd come over and talk,” Greenstein said adding that he would miss their neighborly chats.

“If you start talking to Steve, you’re going to be talking 15 minutes to a half hour more than you thought you were going to be talking,” he said. “So he was just always willing to have a conversation with you and the kids. He was a good neighbor to have.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are working to collect evidence to determine what happened leading up to the crash.