UK & World News
Alabama: 'Joyride' Plane Crash Kills Teens
The mother of a teen killed along with two friends in an Alabama plane crash says her son had his own key to the plane and had flown it many times.
Sherrie Smith says her 17-year-old son Jordan Smith was the one flying the plane that crashed in the Alabama woods. She says two other male teen friends also died in the crash.
Authorities have said they believed the plane was taken on a joy ride without the owner's permission.
But Ms Smith says the owner of the plane had let him fly it many other times and had given her son his own key.
Authorities say the Piper PA 30 came down in a wooded area near Jasper, northwest of Birmingham, on Tuesday night.
Walker County sheriff's Chief Deputy James Painter said investigators believe the teenagers in the plane "were sort of joyriding it".
"I think they were just looking for a thrill and they had their last one," he said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane crashed less than a mile from the Walker County Airport.
The names of the other two occupants of the plane have not been released.
The Piper PA 30 is also called a Piper Twin Comanche. It is a low-wing plane with two propellers and can seat four to six, depending on the model.
The planes were built from 1963 until 1972, and were popular with flight schools because of their fuel efficiency and relatively inexpensive price tags, according to the International Comanche Society, an enthusiasts' group.