The owner of Smoky Mountain Helicopters said the five people died in the crash in Sevier County, about 200 miles east of Nashville, local TV station WVLT reported.
“(It’s) just a burnt mess … there’s not much left,” Jack Baldwin, the chief of police in Pigeon Forge, was quoted as saying by TV station WBIR.
Police and the helicopter company could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said local authorities notified them that a Bell 206 sightseeing helicopter crashed near Sevierville at 3:30 p.m. The helicopter was destroyed by fire, local authorities told the FAA.
The FAA did not have details on fatalities and was awaiting information from the scene.
The helicopter company has been offering sightseeing flights of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding areas since 1964, according to its website.