Four people were found dead Saturday in a small plane that crashed near the St. George Municipal Airport, apparently during the early morning hours.
The single-engine Cessna 172 fixed-wing airplane was found about 300 feet south of the of the runway during the scheduled 6 a.m. security check of the airport property, Assistant to the City Manager Marc Mortensen said.
Mortensen said there were no survivors and confirmed an initial report that four passengers were aboard the plane.
Ian Gregor, the communications manager with the Federal Aviation Administration's Western-Pacific Region, said investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the site later Saturday.
Gregor said the plane crashed under unknown circumstances and he could not confirm what stage of flight it was in.
Mortensen said officials suspect the crash occurred at about 1:30 a.m., but the time has not been confirmed. The last security check of the area prior to the wreckage's discovery was at midnight, he said.
Airport operations have not been interrupted as a result of the crash, he said, and scheduled flights continue to arrive and depart.
Mortensen said no other aircraft or vehicles were involved in the crash.
Monica Traphagan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, said that, in spite of strong winds Friday and again Saturday, there were no severe weather conditions at the airport during the early morning hours.
"At about (1:30 a.m.) the winds had calmed down at the St. George Airport," she said.