HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. - Authorities have confirmed at least three people and a dog died in a plane crash in Habersham County.
The crash in north Georgia was reported just after midnight Thursday.
Authorities said the single-engine Piper Cherokee crashed into a mobile home community in Baldwin, alongside the Habersham County Airport.
The plane crashed in a wooded area that separates two halves of the mobile home park. It did not hit a home and no one outside the plane was injured.
Authorities told Channel 2's Richard Elliot that three people and a dog died as a result of the crash.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The National Traffic Safety Board says the plane was registered to James Thomas Lycett, 58, of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Investigators say the plane took off from Fort Pierce, Florida and was headed to Habersham’s airport. Records show Lycett owns a home in Habersham County.
The coroner says Lycett was on board the plane with cousins, Steven Matthew Wisor, 48, of Fort Pierce and Edward Leslie Black, 45, of Port St. Lucie, who also died in the crash.
Witnesses told Elliot they heard the plane have engine trouble, then saw it rolling like a corkscrew through the sky.
“(It sounded like) a motorcycle when it turns on the motor… it was really loud,” witness Yajaira Aguilar said. “As it was going down, it was flipping and it landed in the woods.”
Recovery crews pulled the plane out of the woods and loaded it onto a truck and hauled it away. The investigation of crash will not only focus on any possible mechanical failures, but also if foggy weather conditions played a role, according to the NTSB.
“From here where we’re going to go, once I finish with the on-site investigation, we’re going to move the aircraft to Atlanta Air Salvage where the investigation can continue,” NTSB investigator Eric Alleyne said.
The bodies were taken to the state crime lab for an autopsy.