DALTON, Ga. - One person has been confirmed dead in the crash of a twin-engine plane that took off from Dalton's municipal airport this afternoon.
Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood would not give a name, but said the victim appeared to be a white male and was thought to be from the Chattanooga area.
He would not say whether anyone else was in the aircraft.
Earlier Saturday, Andrew Wiersma, FBO manager for Crystal Air at the Dalton airport, said one six-seater plane departed about 4:15 with two people aboard.
Within moments, the craft had crashed and caught fire in the woods between Sane Road and Airport Road, east of the airport.
As of shortly after 6 p.m., firefighters were still working to extinguish the blaze, Weirsma said.
The fire was out and the scene secured by the time Chitwood spoke to media at about 7 p.m.
Chitwood said the plane crashed about 50 yards from a house. The occupant was napping, but woke at the sound of the crash and called 911.
Chitwood and Wiersma said witnesses who live in the area told him the one engine died and the craft turned back toward the airport, then crashed into the trees.
The sheriff said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and investigators are expected to arrive tomorrow.