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Failed takeoff ends in plane crash; no one injured

Air traffic went on without interruption

POSTED: April 8, 2011 1:30 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

A plane crashed Thursday afternoon at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville after an unsuccessful takeoff that resulted in the plane leaving the runway before coming to a stop in the grass.

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A training flight crashed shortly after takeoff around 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

Two male passengers in the plane, including the instructor piloting the twin-engine Beechcraft, were unharmed, Gainesville Police Officer Kevin Holbrook said.

The plane suffered damage to its landing gear and propellers as a result of the accident, which happened as the pilot was navigating an emergency landing in the wake of a failed takeoff, Gainesville Fire Chief Jon Canada said.

"As he left the runway, he began experiencing some problems," Canada said. "He made a turn and was coming back to land. As he did he lost control of the plane and skidded off the runway. ... Any time someone walks away from a plane crash, I'd say that's a good day."

The plane, a Beechcraft 76 Duchess, is based out of Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, Holbrook said. Aviation Atlanta, also based at the Chamblee airport, is the company affiliated with the plane and training flight, he added.

A phone call to the company's office after its business hours was unanswered.

"They had touched down here to get gas and were headed back to Peachtree," Holbrook said.

One runway was shut down during the cleanup, which mainly involved relocating the plane to a different section of the airport, Canada said.

Air traffic did not appear interrupted as a result of the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were notified and are expected to investigate the matter.

 



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