US instructor and Indian student die in Georgia plane crash

March 23, 2008

Rome, Georgia, US: Two Atlanta-area residents were killed today when the twin engine plane crashed near Richard B. Russsell Regional Airport in Rome.
Deputy Coroner Ernie Studard confirmed the victims were two males, but said he could not release their names.
The FAA lists the plane as being registered to Aviation Atlanta in Chamblee. A witness said an instructor and a student were in the plane.
Chief Deputy Coroner Tony Cooper said the instructor was from Duluth and the student was from India. He said names probably won’t be released until Saturday.
The plane went down near Godfrey Road, at the southern end of the airport, near a local pond.
Kathleen Bergen, public information officer for the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta, said the four-seat Beechcraft BE76, crashed on takeoff and burned.
Mike Mathews, manager of the Rome airport, said the plane is based out of Peachtree DeKalb Airport. He said he saw the plane fall shortly after it took off.
“I saw them nose down and try to come back to the runway and it came straight down into the trees,” he said.
He said planes often come to Rome from Atlanta for training because it’s easier to make approaches and not so busy.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be on the scene Saturday, and the Floyd County Police Department will secure the scene overnight.
Local pilot Howie Lowden, who is also a member of the Floyd County Airport Commission, said the Beechcraft Duchess is an inexpensive plane to fly, and is commonly used to teach pilots, he said.
Andrew Mallis, a local helicopter pilot, said he flew over the wreckage before the fire department arrived. He said there were visible flames and people were working to douse them. He said by 5:30 p.m. the fire was nearly out. The plane did not hit any homes near the airport.
21/03/08 Calhoun Times, United States

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