A Newnan man and two others were killed in an air crash off the California coast, authorities confirmed Thursday.
Cartersville-based Phoenix Air released the names that included First Officer Spencer Geerlings of Newnan, Capt. Eric Tatman of Marietta and Systems Specialist Shane Garner of Taylorsville.
The three men were participating in a U.S. Navy training exercise when the Phoenix Air Learjet 36 went down roughly one-mile southwest of San Clemente Island, which is the southernmost of California’s Channel Islands, around 7:40 a.m. Wednesday morning, officials said.
The Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies immediately conducted search operations and located a debris field in the water about a mile from San Clemente Island. After a search lasting some 24 hours, the Coast Guard on Thursday declared there were no survivors.
The other aircraft landed safely.
Phoenix Air has been a contracted air operator for the Navy and other Department of Defense elements performing readiness training for over 20 years.
The company said it is fully cooperating with DOD, Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigations into the cause of the crash.