Three people have died and three have been injured after an outbound flight from Hawaii's Lanai island crashed about a mile from the airport.

The aircraft came down at around 9:30pm local time on Wednesday, according to Maui County spokesman Rod Antone.

He said details about the crash were sketchy.

Antone confirmed that three people were killed and two were criticically injured. One passenger was less seriously hurt. No names have been released.

Lee Mainaga, the fire services chief, said crews found the wreckage about a mile southwest of the airport.

Aviation authorities were uncertain exactly how many people were on board. Investigators were at the scene.

Local media reports said the plane was a small aircraft.

Alberta de Jetley, Lanai Times publisher and editor, told the Maui News that the plane came down near the Maui Electric Co power plant.

She said that the terrain was mostly flat grassland and fallow pineapple fields.