INDIANTOWN, Fla. (AP) — A small plane crashed in a pasture near a luxury home development Thursday, killing four men as they surveyed bird populations near Lake Okeechobee, officials said.

Two graduate biology students and an employee of Florida Atlantic University were killed along with the pilot, who owned the Kemper Aviation school based at Lantana Airport, officials said.

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk went down shortly after 9 a.m. near a development of 20-acre equestrian homes known as Martin County Ranches, said county Assistant Fire-Rescue Chief Henry Johnson.