FLETCHER, N.C. — Four people were killed Wednesday when a privately owned twin-engine airplane crashed about a mile from Asheville Regional Airport.
The aircraft was a Beechcraft BE60 that took off at 10:50 a.m. on its way to Greensboro, said Christopher White, an FAA spokesman in Atlanta.
Moments before the crash, the pilot contacted the control tower to report mechanical problems, he said.
Three people were killed on impact and a fourth passenger died at Mission Hospitals in Asheville after being removed from the plane, officials said.
"They had to cut through the debris" to reach the person, airport spokeswoman Susan Phillips said. "They are still going through the wreckage."
The plane crashed about 150 feet away from a mobile home where Mark Sumner, 69, lives. Sumner, a plumber, was watching television when the airplane slammed into the base of a tree.
"It sounded like dynamite," he said. "I knew it had been a plane crash."
Sumner said he ran outside to see what had happened and circled the wreckage searching for survivors, but he could find no survivors.
The names of the victims were not immediately released.
The plane, which was registered to an address in Miami, crashed in a field in a rural area of Arden about a mile from the airport, which is in Fletcher, Phillips said.
Dozens of police and emergency vehicles were at the scene in southern Buncombe County. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the scene, White said.
The crash brought down nearby power lines, said Nancy Thompson, spokeswoman for Progress Energy. Crews worked to repair the damage.