Photo by Johnny Jackson
Local law enforcement personnel were seen on the campus of the Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, near where a small plane crashed Tuesday. Media were not allowed beyond the perimeter of the campus, near the crash, early Tuesday afternoon.
By Johnny Jackson
A small, fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft crashed around noon Tuesday, in Henry County, killing two.
The crash was discovered yards away from the campus of the Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, and not far from runways at Tara Field, or the Atlanta Motor Speedway, near the Henry-Clayton county border.
Henry County Fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett confirmed the two fatalities at the scene. No other injuries were reported.
Authorities did not immediately release the identities of those killed in the crash.
The incident received a full-alarm response by Henry and Clayton county emergency responders. Puckett said Henry County called in additional units, as needed, for manpower.
Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services personnel assisted Henry County Fire at the scene, she continued. Police departments from the City of Hampton, Clayton County, and Henry County, also were on the scene.
The downed aircraft, a 1967 Dehavilland-6-100, was found upside down in a tree, according to Kathleen Bergen, communications manager for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Southern Region. She said local authorities confirmed two dead.
Bergen said the flight had no communications with any air traffic facilities. Weather conditions were fair, and visibility was good, added Peter Knudson, a spokesman with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
No post-crash fire was reported in the mishap, which occurred around 11:42 a.m., said Knudson. The plane crashed in a wooded area near Fortson Road, and Lower Wosley Road, in Hampton, according to eyewitnesses.
The NTSB official said "the aircraft was on a maintenance test flight, and had performed four touch-and-goes," which he explained are test landings, without complete stops.
Knudson, whose office at NTSB investigates such crashes, said he expects NTSB AeroSafety Investigator, Luke Schiada, to lead the probe into the cause of the crash, which remains under investigation. NTSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating all civil aviation accidents in the country.
The Fortson 4-H Center, near where the crash occurred, sits on 77 acres of forest and wetlands. The center acts as an outdoor classroom and camp for young people. The Henry Daily Herald attempted to interview officials at the center, but was unsuccessful.
The Dehavilland-6-100, Twin Otter, with a Turbo-prop Engine is registered through the FAA, to Desert Sand Aircraft Leasing Co., Inc., in Carson City, Nevada.
Kevin McCole, of New Hampshire, is a pilot, and previous owner, of the wrecked plane. He said he sold the airplane to the leasing company.
McCole, who still has ties to the Tara Field aircraft community, said he first learned of the plane crash Tuesday afternoon.
"I was very sad to hear the news," said McCole.