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Georgia Plagued by Small Plane Crashes

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Jackson, GAThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating seven Georgia plane crashes that occurred in mid-state, known as Middle Georgia.

The most recent occurred on October 1 when a Glasair SH-2 with passengers on board was attempting to take off from the Seven Lakes Airport facility in Butts County near Jackson at about 1 pm. According to the NTSB, the engine separated from the aircraft and the plane flipped over, striking a building at the airport. The 10/9/10 issue of the Macon Telegraph reported that injuries were serious.

And that's just one.

Over the summer a commercial airline transport pilot from Florida was returning home from Indiana in an Avion aircraft when he encountered a drop in oil pressure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later determined that the airplane accident was likely caused by a crack in an engine cylinder. No oil was found on the engine dipstick and significant amounts of oil were found inside the cowling of the engine.

In many of the crashes, injuries were minor—but one plane accident resulted in tragedy.

The Macon Telegraph reported that on September 8 a Cessna 182T built in 2004 had been cleared to land at Telfair-Wheeler Airport in McRae, Georgia. A witness reported hearing the engine fail while the plane was in mid-air, followed shortly thereafter by a loud "boom."

The doomed plane was later found to have cut a 335-foot-long swath through trees before coming to rest about three miles from the airport. The pilot, identified as Daniel J. Marnell of Douglasville, died in the accident. His passenger, also a pilot, was injured—although there was no word as to the severity of his injuries.

Witnesses report dense fog at the time of the air plane crash, with visibility no better than a quarter mile. Marnell, it was reported, was both a commercial pilot and a flight instructor.

There was no word as to the cause of the plane accident, or any of the five others. The NTSB continues to investigate.

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