DALLAS (AP) - A private jet that had former President George W. Bush on board made an emergency landing Saturday night.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday that the jet was flying from Philadelphia to Dallas, where Bush lives. The FAA said the plane was diverted to Louisville, Ky., after the smell of smoke was reported in the cockpit. No one was hurt.
Bush spokesman Freddy Ford told The Associated Press on Sunday that after a brief stop, the plane continued to Dallas. Ford was on board and said he never saw or smelled smoke.
FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker said the Gulfstream 4 eventually landed at Dallas Love Field.
Bush is honorary chairman of The First Tee, which supports youth education programs through golf, and was returning from an event in Philadelphia.
Towers at the Branson Airport and Columbia Regional Airport will stop operations.
The closures will not force the shutdown of either airport. But pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers under procedures that all pilots are trained to carry out.
The plan has raised concerns over the impact on safety and the potential financial effect on communities that rely on airports as economic engines for attracting business.
The agency announced Friday that it will begin closing 149 air traffic facilities starting April 7.
The affected Illinois towers are at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale and Waukegan Regional Airport near Chicago.
All of the affected airports will remain open. Under long-established procedures, pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency without help from controllers.
The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year under the federal cuts known as sequestration.
Thomson-McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall said the jet crashed after 8 p.m. Wednesday. He said the two survivors were taken to area hospitals but did not have information on their conditions. He said the identities of those killed were being withheld pending notification of family members.
The Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I en route from Nashville, Tenn., crashed around 8:30 p.m. at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, about 30 miles west of Augusta, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.
Seven people were aboard, she told The Associated Press in the email. She added that she had no immediate details about a possible cause.
The Augusta Chronicle (http://bit.ly/WbvMGa) cited Assistant County Fire Chief Stephen Sewell as saying there were at least two survivors identified as a pilot and a passenger. But he provided no additional information about those aboard in that account.
The newspaper said a brush fire flared near the crash scene, quoting witnesses who reported local power outages that prompted a utility to send workers to the site. A photograph posted on the newspaper's online site showed ambulances with lights flashing.
The plane was on a flight from John Tune Airport in Nashville, Tenn., to the Thomson-McDuffie airport, Bergen said in her email, adding the aircraft is registered to a company based in Wilmington, Del.