Family Member: No One Aboard Plane Survived


GILMER COUNTY, Ga. - Crews have found a plane that disappeared in the north Georgia mountains, authorities said.

Late Wednesday night, a family member of one of the people on board called Channel 2's Diana Davis to say he received a phone call from authorities stating that none of the four people on board had survived.

Wreckage from the plane was spotted by a Georgia State Patrol helicopter in a remote part of Gilmer County just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.

"I actually went up in the helicopter with GSP to survey the crash site," said Gilmer County Fire Department Chief Tony Pritchett.

Pritchett said authorities did not have information about potential survivors.

The group took off in a Beechcraft Bonanza from the Gilmer County Airport at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

When the plane didn't return as expected, family members called the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. Bergen said the flight had no contact with air traffic controllers.

The group was on a sightseeing flight that someone won as a door prize at a Gilmer High School class 50th reunion over the weekend.

"We're all just shook up. We just have to wait, and we're still waiting," said Randall Davidson, the brother of missing passenger Patricia Smith, 67.

Smith was on board with friends Woodie and Mattie Pierce, as well as fellow classmate and pilot Phil Key.

Shortly before the find, family members said they weren't giving up hope.

"They've been without food and water for ostensibly 48 hours, so we're trying to be realistic about our expectations, but we're still hoping for the best," said Smith's stepson.