By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Residents of a northwest Atlanta neighborhood watched in horror Tuesday night as a small plane crashed and ignited, killing two people aboard.
“Before it even hit, the house shook,” Drew Hawkins told TheAtlanta Journal-Constitution. “Then I heard the explosion and it shook the house even more.”
Hawkins said he and other neighbors stared in shock as the plane became a huge fireball in the woods, narrowly missing houses.
The plane crashed at 7:25 p.m. in the 2200 block of Thomas Road, near Bolton Road and I-285, not long after takeoff, according to the fire department and FAA. It ignited on impact and burned in the woods, about 200 yards from houses, witnesses said.
According to the FAA, the Raytheon 390 Premier I multi-engine aircraft departed from Fulton County Airport and was destined for New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The plane is registered to a metro Atlanta company, according to Kathleen Bergen, FAA spokeswoman.
The names of those killed in the crash were not immediately available.
Neighbors said Tuesday night that the sound of airplanes is constant due to the neighborhood’s proximity to the airport. But this time, something sounded different, almost like a missile, Kevin Krapp told The AJC.
“It looked like it was coming straight for our house, and at the last minute, dipped its wings over and it banked really hard right,” Krapp said. “It landed a couple hundred yards away from our house, and I thought it hit a neighbor’s house.”
Krapp said the plane appeared to turn at an angle just before crashing.
“It looked like the pilot landed it here on purpose because it was away from houses,” Krapp said. “It looked like he saw a bunch of houses with all the lights on and he banked at the last minute. It was unbelievable.”
FAA and NTSB investigators were headed to the scene late Tuesday.
Atlwebradio News Staff: