PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — The Gordon County Sheriff’s Office says the wreckage of a small jet that crashed about 50 miles north of Atlanta has been found in a remote wooded area.
The Gordon County coroner confirmed four people died in the crash. Their identities have not been released.
The plane crash happened Saturday morning. Chief Deputy Robert Paris said deputies did not expect to find any survivors and it became a recovery mission.
Sheriff Mitch Ralston said the crash site was 3 miles off any main road. Raston said some private citizens found the crash site while they were looking for it on all-terrain vehicles.
“The plane was discovered in one of the most remote areas of our jurisdiction,” Paris said, calling the crash site treacherous to get to. “We had to go in in four-wheel drive vehicles and ATVs and we had to walk a long way after that. It’s only accessible by foot.”
Officials said the pilot did warn air traffic control about an issue with the plane before the crash.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was in Gordon County, where he talked to a woman who said her best friend died in the crash. She declined to comment on camera out of respect for her friend’s family.
Seiden also talked to witnesses who heard the crash. Danny Hyde told Seiden he heard a large “boom” during heavy snow.
“I was up cooking breakfast. My wife had just got up, and it was snowing pretty hard,” Hyde said. “And I heard this ‘boom.’ I said, ‘Man, that sounded like thunder.’"
Snow was reported in the Atlanta area around the time of the takeoff, but it isn’t clear if weather was a factor in the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived Sunday from Washington, D.C. to investigate.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Cessna Citation disappeared from radar in the area of Gordon County and Cherokee County around 10:10 a.m. Saturday.
The small jet departed from Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field in Peachtree City shortly before 10 a.m., the FAA said.