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Safety board releases preliminary report on Gainesville plane crash that killed 3
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A portion of a crashed plane is loaded onto a trailer as a crew removes the pieces of wreckage Monday, March 1, 2021, along Memorial Park Drive. Three passengers of the plane were killed Feb. 26 when the plane crashed in a ravine near Titshaw Drive. - photo by Scott Rogers

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the Gainesville plane crash that killed three people on Feb. 26.

The three killed on board the plane were identified by authorities as Dan Delnoce, 44, of Gainesville; Courtney Flanders, 45, of Gainesville; and Matthew Delnoce, 39, of Ohio.

Dan Delnoce and Flanders were married, and Matthew and Dan are brothers.

The information from the Federal Aviation Administration was that the plane was en route from Gainesville to Daytona Beach, Fla., when it crashed near Memorial Park Drive.

The preliminary report detailed the pilot discussing with the air traffic controller which runway the plane was using. The plane departed Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport around 6:08 p.m. and turned southwest, according to the report.

“The controller informed the pilot that the airplane appeared to be on a westbound heading and asked if he was on the assigned heading of 140 (degrees),” according to the report. “However, the pilot did not respond. The airplane began a rapid descent and then the low altitude alert system activated at the controller’s station.”

The report said the controller alerted the pilot, but the pilot did not respond. Upon reviewing the scene, the safety board said the airplane hit wooded terrain around ¾ of a mile southwest of the approach end of a Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport runway.

According to the Hall County Fire Services report, firefighters arrived on the scene at Cross Street to find a section of the plane’s wing had entered a home, but none of the five people in the home were injured.

The report said an “unknown amount of aviation fuel emptied into the residence” and on roughly one to two acres around the residence.

The Hall County report also noted that Flanders was holding a fire extinguisher when authorities were extricating the victims from the crash.

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