The helicopter went down around 5:45 a.m. about 80 feet behind a house.
Killed were the pilot, Wyatt Zane Rogers, 27, and two passengers, Kendall and Kelly Loudermilk of Spartanburg, S.C.
The Chartered Robinson R44 helicopter had taken off around 3 a.m. and was headed to the Apalachicola, Florida airport in Franklin County. The Loudermilks’ planned to attend a funeral there.
County Sheriff Larry Waller said it appeared the chopper came straight down and crashed into a wooded area.
All three people were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.