Official: 4 sent to hospital after N Carolina plane crash

Authorities say a small plane crashed at a central North Carolina airport, sending four people to the hospital

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A small plane crashed on Monday at a central North Carolina airport, sending four people -- three of them students -- to the hospital, authorities said.

The Cessna 172 crashed shortly before 2 p.m. at Gray’s Creek Airport south of Fayetteville, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said.

The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause, Salac said.

The pilot and the three students were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, said Sally Shutt, a Cumberland County spokeswoman. Their conditions weren't immediately known.

The students were there as part of a local workforce development program designed to allow attendees to learn about aviation careers, media outlets reported.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the plane crashed shortly after takeoff into a field beside the runway.