National News

Pilot reported engine trouble before deadly Georgia crash

Posted August 29

— A federal investigator says a pilot reported engine trouble to air-traffic controllers before his single-engine plane crashed in dense Georgia woods, killing all three people aboard.

John Brannen of the National Transportation Safety Board said during a news conference Tuesday that pilot Randy Hunter was trying to return to the Savannah airport just minutes after taking off when his plane crashed in neighboring Bryan County.

The NTSB is investigating the crash that killed Hunter of Tyrone, Georgia, and passengers William Byron Cocke and Catherine Cocke of Savannah. Authorities say the couple hired the pilot to fly them to the Atlanta area Monday.

WTOC-TV reports Byron Cocke worked as a co-chief executive of CF Real Estate Services and Catherine Cocke ran an interior design business.

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