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Three Dead After Two Small Planes Collide at Georgia Airport

Two Planes Collide Over Georgia Airport, Three Dead 1:29

A flight instructor and her student were among the three people killed Wednesday when two single-engine planes collided in midair at a Georgia airport.

The planes were trying to land at West Georgia Regional Airport at the same time when they crashed into each other, NBC affiliate WXIA reported, citing Carroll County Fire Rescue.

"It appears that one plane may have set down on top of the other one," Carroll County sheriff's Capt. Jeff Richards said. "Both appear to be low-wing aircraft, so they may not have seen underneath."

The victims were all adults — two men and a woman, according to the local affiliate.

Two of those killed in the crash were identified as Taylor Nicole Stone, 24, of East Ridge, Tennessee, and William Lewis Lindsey, 79, of College Park. Notification is pending for the third victim, Richards said.

The wrecked planes were a Diamond Aircraft DA20C1 and a Beech Bonanza F33A, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

The Diamond was owned by the Falcon Aviation Academy, a local flight school, Randy Williams, a manager at the airport, told NBC News. A single adult male was at the controls of the other plane, he said.

Image:
Investigators stand next to the debris of a plane crash at West Georgia Regional Airport in Carrollton on Sept. 7. Carroll County Fire Chief Scott Blue says two single-engine planes may have been trying to land at the same time when they collided at the small airport, leaving three people dead. David Goldman / AP

The deadly crash happened around 11 a.m. near the end of runway 35, said Williams.

The airport is located about 50 miles west of Atlanta and has no air traffic controllers or control tower, according to the FAA. Pilots communicate with each other on a shared radio frequency.

"It's kind of on your own to report your conditions, your location, where you're at as you approach the airport," Richards said. There was radio traffic taking place at the time, but who was speaking and what was said was still under investigation, he said.

Two other planes were in a flight pattern circling the airport and saw the planes approach the runway before they crashed, Richards said.

The planes that crashed were making a north approach about 100 yards short of the runway when the crash occurred, Richards said. "There was a horrific impact," with debris strewn over the site, he said. The debris area was between 300 to 400 feet long, senior National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ralph Hicks said.

The left wing of the Diamond plane was broken off during the crash and the Beech was found upside down on top of that aircraft, Hicks said.

Both the FAA and the NTSB are investigating the crash.