Authorities: 4 believed dead in Navy plane crash

MORGANTON, GA Naval Air Station Pensacola spokesman Harry White told The Associated Press that all four were presumed killed in Monday afternoon's crash of the Florida-based T-39N Sabreliner. He said authorities reached that conclusion as a team of at least seven military personnel arrived Tuesday afternoon in the dense forest.

A six-person civilian crew contracted by the military also was on hand and law enforcement officers left the wreckage undisturbed overnight for the arriving investigators, Fannin County Sheriff's Office Maj. Keith Bosen said.

The plane just missed a house when it crash Monday afternoon, and authorities said no one on the ground was injured.

"The way the aircraft impacted, it was not believed that there were any survivors," Bosen said Tuesday.

The plane was part of Training Air Wing 6, which conducts routine cross-country missions through Fannin County, where it crashed, White said. The area is north of Atlanta not far from Georgia's boundaries with North Carolina and Tennessee.

Searchers found three bodies earlier and Bosen said there was no evidence that a parachute had deployed.

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, 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.

Authorities say the plane went down in an area where residents say houses are scattered among dense trees. Fuel from the plane also started a brush fire that burned at least 25 acres, Bosen said.

In January 2006, a Navy T-39 Sabreliner also based at Naval Air Station Pensacola crashed in a wooded area in northwest Georgia, killing all four aviators aboard. It went down after taking off from Chattanooga, Tenn.

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