All five people aboard escaped with minor injures Saturday when the single-engine Beechcraft A36 Bonanza aborted its flight near the south shore of the mountain resort lake, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the crash.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer told the Los Angeles Times the plane was about to land at the Big Bear Airport after a flight from the San Diego area. The pilot reported he had lost engine power and was losing altitude.
The pilot and four passengers were able to get out of the plane before sheriff's deputies arrived.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Autopsy backs Ferguson cop as critics rip leak