Just before 5:30 p.m. yesterday, a small private plane crashed near an airport in Fairfield, NJ, killing its three occupants, the pilot, Manhattan doctor Margaret Smith, 70, her stepson, Michael Ferguson, 44, and his wife Theresa. The Star-Ledger reports that the plane "crashed and burst into a fireball after an aborted landing at Essex County Airport." A witness said, "When the crash hit, you could tell it wasn’t a car. It was much louder than that." Smith was a professor at New York Medical College and had been a program director at St. Vincent's. The Post reports that Smith's plane, a Cirrus SR22 was "similar to the Cirrus that Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle and his instructor flew into an Upper East Side apartment building in 2006."