Four family members and a pilot died Friday in a Georgia plane crash while flying to a funeral in Indiana, Fox 5 Atlanta reports. The FAA says the Piper PA-31T—a twin-engine turboprop—crashed in a wooded area roughly six miles northeast of Eatonton. The plane had left a small airfield near Gainesville, Fla., at around 2pm and ran into storms over Putnam County, Georgia. The deceased are Shawn Charles Lamont, 41, and his wife Jody Rae Lamont; their children, 4-year-old Alice and 6-year-old Jayce; and the plane's pilot/owner, Larry Ray Pruitt, 67, of Morriston, Fla.
Eyewitness video shows the plane descending in flames, leaving a trail of smoke and emitting a loud bang. Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills tells WXIA-TV he "heard a loud explosion" and received a call from a resident who saw "a plane on fire in the air." Talking to News 4 Jax, aviation expert Ed Booth says the pilot appeared to be doing 300mph at 23,000 feet "when he was going between thunderstorm cells, and for reasons that are hard to explain, the airplane abruptly turns right and descends at over 6,000 feet a minute and then pulls up, going uphill at 2,000 feet a minute and then just disappears." Details about the family or the funeral they planned to attend have not emerged. The FAA is expected to investigate. (More plane crash stories.)