3 dead when 2 planes col­lide in air over Car­roll­ton air­port

The Standard Journal - - POLICE/FIRE -

CAR­ROLL­TON — A flight in­struc­tor, her stu­dent and a third per­son died Wed­nes­day af­ter two small airplanes col­lided in midair, with one wit­ness who told au­thor­i­ties the pi­lots may have been try­ing to land at the same time.

The sin­gle-en­gine planes crashed just be­fore 11 a.m. on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 7, near the end of the lone run­way at West Ge­or­gia Re­gional Air­port, said Car­roll County Fire Chief Scott Blue.

Capt. Jeff Richards of the Car­roll County Sher­iff’s Of­fice iden­ti­fied the de­ceased flight in­struc­tor as 24year-old Tay­lor Ni­cole Stone of East Ridge, Ten­nessee. Her stu­dent, who also died, was iden­ti­fied only as a male, pend­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion of his fam­ily.

The third fa­tal­ity, 79-year-old William Lewis Lind­sey of Col­lege Park, was alone in the other plane, Richards said.

The cause of the deadly col­li­sion was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. But Blue said a wit­ness re­ported the planes looked like they were at­tempt­ing to land si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

“An­other pilot in the air said it ap­peared that both of them were try­ing to land and one came on top of the other,” Blue told The As­so­ci­ated Press in a phone in­ter­view. “At this point in time we can’t re­ally con­firm that.”

The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion said both were sin­gle-en­gine airplanes — a Di­a­mond Air­craft DA20C1 and a Beech F33A.

Blue said a lone pilot was killed in the Beech air­craft reg­is­tered in Col­lege Park, about 40 miles east of the air­port. A pilot and pas­sen­ger died on­board the Di­a­mond plane, which the fire chief said was reg­is­tered to a com­pany that trains pi­lots in New­nan, 22 miles to the south­east.

First re­spon­ders found the wreck­age of the two planes all twisted and mixed to­gether.

“Our unit when they first came thought it was one plane,” Blue said. “They were in­ter­mixed so much it was hard to iden­tify two planes at first.”

The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash in con­junc­tion with the Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board, which will de­ter­mine the of­fi­cial cause.

David Gold­man/AP

A Car­roll County Fire of­fi­cial walks past the de­bris of a plane crash at West Ge­or­gia Re­gional Air­port in Carrollton on Wednes­day, Sept. 7, 2016. Car­roll County Fire Chief Scott Blue says two sin­gle-en­gine planes may have been try­ing to land at the...

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