ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ A Turkish navy helicopter, participating a NATO exercise, crashed into the Aegean Sea early today, killing three crew members. Another pilot was missing.

The helicopter crashed in international waters, said Sermet Atacanli, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman.

The Italian-made Augusta Bell-212 helicopter, which took off from a Turkish destroyer, crashed at 3 a.m. local time (8 p.m. EST), a statement from the joint chiefs of staff said. Ships and helicopters were searching for the missing pilot.

The cause of the accident, which occurred off the town Fethiye, on the southwestern edge of Turkey, was not immediately known. The area is some 30 miles southeast of the Greek island of Rhodes.