MORGANTON, Ga. — A Florida-based Navy plane just missed a house and crashed in dense woods in north Georgia on Monday, killing three crew members, and authorities were looking for a fourth person believed to be aboard, officials said.
Naval Air Station Pensacola spokesman Harry White said authorities have not confirmed whether the pilot was among those killed when a T-39N training plane went down at 4:26 p.m. No one on the ground was injured, he said.
The plane was part of Training Air Wing 6, which conducts routine cross-country missions through Fannin County, where it crashed, about two hours north of Atlanta, on the edge of the North Carolina and Tennessee borders, White said. Searchers found three bodies. The twin-jet plane can carry two pilots and seven passengers, according to a Navy Web site.
Authorities don't know what caused the plane to go down and are putting together an investigative team, White said. He did not release the victims' names and said he didn't know where the plane had originated. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the agency is not investigating the military crash.
Media outlets early on reported the plane struck a house, but Fannin County Sheriff's Office Maj. Keith Bosen said the plane just flew very close to one.
Authorities say the plane went down in an area described by residents as with houses scattered among dense trees.
Beverly Thompson, who lives down the road, said she didn't see the crash but heard it.
"I heard a plane go over," Thompson said. "We heard the plane and then we heard a boom."
Fuel from the plane also started a brush fire that burned 10 to 15 acres, Bosen said.