Crash victims identified as investigation continues

March 23, 2008

Authorities on Saturday identified the two victims killed in Friday’s plane crash at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.
Lokesh Venkat, 23, of India, was the student pilot flying the plane, and Kwang Yi, 34, of a Duluth address, was the instructor, said Floyd County Chief Deputy Coroner Tony Cooper.
Cooper said the two were pronounced dead at the scene at 4:45 p.m. Friday by Deputy Coroner Ernie Studard. Cooper said Venkat’s family has been contacted and plans to fly his body back to India.

Student pilot from India at controls
when plane crashed
Rome, Georgia: A student pilot from India was at
the controls of a small, two-engine plane when it
crashed, killing him and his flight instructor, a coroner
said Saturday.Lokesh Venkat, 23, who was from
the southern Indian city of Chennai, was living in
the Atlanta area temporarily while he and a group of
people from his country took aviation training, Floyd
County chief deputy coroner Tony Cooper said.
23/03/08 Fort Mills Times, USA

National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration officials arrived at the scene to conduct a preliminary investigation into the crash.
“At this stage we’re looking for as much factual evidence as we can without making any conclusions,” said Luke Schiada, senior safety investigator of the eastern region of NTSB.
The twin engine, four-seat Beechcraft BE76 crashed Friday on the southern end of Richard B. Russell Regional Airport just west of Lake Geneva off Godfrey Road.
Scotty Hancock, Floyd County Emergency Management Agency director, confirmed a small amount of “contraband” was found inside the plane.
“We did find in the pilot’s personal belongings a suspicious substance,” said Cooper. “We have no confirmation that it was illicit.”
23/03/08 John Bailey/Rome News-Tribune, USA

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