(Reuters) - At least two people died in the crash of a medical transport plane in northern California on Friday after a report of cockpit smoke, authorities and a media report said.

A search team found a crash site north of McKinleyville, about 200 miles north of San Francisco, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

"At this time at least two fatalities have been confirmed," it said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the pilot of the twin-engine Piper PA31 reported smoke in the cockpit early on Friday during a flight from Crescent City, California, to Oakland.


The pilot said he was returning to Crescent City and radar contact was lost. Four people were believed aboard, the FAA said in a statement.

NBC News reported the plane was operated by REACH Air Medical Services, of Santa Rosa, California. A company spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by James Dalgleish)