Posted: Tuesday, December 3rd 2013 at 10:10pm
NTSB gives update on fatal Dawson County plane crash
By Bryan Pirkle Staff
DAWSONVILLE - The National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference Tuesday where the agency shared information pertaining to their ongoing investigation of a plane crash that claimed one life in Dawson County Monday night.
According to a report from Fox 5, NTSB investigator-in-charge Heidi Moates detailed several aspects of the investigation, including setting forth the agency’s immediate plans for handling the crash site and the surrounding area.
“We’ve taken witness statements and we’ve gone through them, and now it’s part of the process to look at the engine,” she said. “…the engine manufacturer will be on scene with us tomorrow, so we will look into that.”
Authorities say the lone victim of the crash was the aircraft’s pilot, whose identity has yet to be released. Officials initially thought there were more passengers on-board the plane at the time of the crash, but later clarified that the pilot was flying solo when the incident occurred.
Kathleen Bergen with the Federal Aviation Administration, who was cited in Fox 5’s report, said that the single-engine Piper Malibu PA-46 plane was traveling from the Morristown, N.J. Municipal Airport to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. A distress call was sent out sometime between 7 and 7:30 p.m., but the aircraft, which was registered to a Georgia entity, went down shortly thereafter.
Moates said that, among other things, the investigation hopes to determine if the crash was caused by human or mechanical error, or if inclement weather was in any way a factor. She added that due to the nature of the crash, which saw debris spread over a wide area, officials are still working to document all the wreckage.
“The wreckage was spread out over a large area, and it did hit some trees, and we are going to document those tomorrow [Wednesday] with a… wreckage company,” she continued.
Moates said that a comprehensive final report on the crash could take up to a year to complete, but that a less-intensive preliminary report should be released within the next week.
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