KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Updated, 4:45 p.m.
Officials say the pilot of a single-engine plane that left a Knoxville airport Thursday died in a crash. The plane was headed to South Carolina, but never made it there.
WRDW reported that the pilot, Gary Huttleston, died in a crash.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration's online database the Mooney M20C is registered to Huttleston.
The single-engine plane left Island Home airport Thursday just before 5:30 p.m. and was expected to arrive in Aiken, South Carolina around 7 p.m. but never made it there.
Huttleston's plane crashed near Cashiers, NC. Search crews from Macon and Jackson Counties searched the area around Whiteside Mountain, in North Carolina, since 6:15 p.m. Thursday.
The Macon County Emergency Management Agency said the airforce was assisting in the search.
Original Story, 12:30 p.m.
According to a news release from Macon County Emergency Management agency, crews are searching for a plane that took off from Knoxville, but never reached its destination.
The single-engine plane left a Knoxville airport Thursday and was expected to arrive in Aiken, South Carolina but it never made it there. Officials believe there was one passenger on board.
The last known location of the plane is in the Whiteside Mountain area. Emergency Management Crews in Macon County were notified when air traffic controllers in Atlanta lost contact with the aircraft.
Search efforts are difficult due to bad weather conditions in the area. Crews are confined to searching via ground only. The search area includes rough terrain and wilderness.
The Macon County Emergency Management Agency said the airforce is assisting in the search.