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Authorities working to determine cause of fatal plane crash at Gainesville airport
11182018 plane.jpg
A plane crashed Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville. Photo courtesy Gainesville Police.

Federal investigators were sifting through evidence Sunday at the scene of a fatal plane crash at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

A preliminary report could be issued in about 10 days, said Keith Holloway, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

A more complete report — one that gives possible causes of the crash — could be released in 12-18 months, he said.

“It’s more about fact-gathering and collecting all the perishable evidence at this point,” Holloway said. “The aircraft will be moved to (another) facility for further examination if necessary.”

Robert Carlisle Alberhasky, 68, of Cumming died after his 2015 Lancair International Legacy RG crashed Saturday, Nov. 17.

Alberhasky is believed to have been the pilot, Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.

Mark Lewis, 69, of Flowery Branch was also in the plane and critically injured. He was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he was in fair condition Sunday afternoon.

Police and both the Gainesville and Hall County fire departments arrived on the scene shortly after receiving a 911 call close to 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The Federal Aviation Administration arrived at about 10 p.m.

“It appears that the plane was about to land when at some point it possibly struck some trees across Queen City Parkway and then struck a tower here at the airport,” Holbrook said Saturday.

Emergency personnel discovered the single-engine plane had fallen down an embankment along Queen City Parkway.

Holbrook said Sunday the tower, believed to be used for lighting, didn’t have major damage.

“It should not interfere with operations of the airport,” he said.

Holbrook did say the airport was “closed for air traffic (Sunday) for investigative and recovery purposes. Once that is complete, things should return to normal operations.”

Times staff members Nathan Berg, Shannon Casas and Jeff Gill contributed to this report.

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