Puerto Rico Air National Guard WC-130H Crashes near Chatham City, Georgia.

Reports Say 9 People on Board Dead.

A Lockheed WC-130H transport plane, 65-0968, from the 156th Airlift Wing from Puerto Rico has crashed near Chatham City, Georgia today. There were 5 crewmembers and 4 passengers on board. All of them reportedly died in the accident.

Local and social media in the area has shown video and photos of the aircraft burning heavily with debris, including most of the tail section on a roadway. Some flights to the nearby Savannah airport have been affected by the incident, although it is unclear if the aircraft was operating in connection the Savannah facility at the time of the crash.

One witness told CNN.com that, “The ground shook like a bomb going off.”

A WC-130H burns after crashing near a roadway in Georgia. (Photo: IAFF574 Savannah via Twitter)

The Lockheed WC-130H variant of the C-130 Hercules is tasked with weather reconnaissance including hurricane reconnaissance. It can remain in flight for as long as 15 hours and carries specialized meteorological monitoring equipment including the dropsonde wind speed and direction sensor.

This accident continues a series of recent incidents and accidents in U.S. military aviation.

Top image credit: Eduardo Rivera / Minaya Photography.