Pilot Complained of Autopilot System Prior to Gordon County Plane Crash
ATLANTA, GA- Ajc.com writes that a twin-engine jet was involved in a deadly crash that killed four people in northwest Georgia. The National Transportation Safety Board issued its initial report this week and found that the pilot had complained that the plane was not functioning properly prior to the crash.*
The aircraft, a Cessna Citation, was in a remote part of Gordan County when it suddenly was lost from the radar sensors.
Search crews eventually found the wreckage and the bodies of the four victims. Those killed included the 68-year-old pilot, who was from Fayetteville, and his 25-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter-in-law, both of whom were from Atlanta. A 62-year-old man from Senoia was also on the plane and died in the crash.
The aircraft took off from Peachtree City in the late morning and was traveling to Nashville. It was snowing, but the report does not indicate whether that was a factor in the incident. The aircraft was experiencing trouble with its directions and altitude before radar sensors lost track of the plane.
When an air traffic controller contacted the pilot to tell him to get his plane back on track, the man stated that the autopilot was having problems. When asked if the pilot had gotten the plane back on track, he reportedly stated that they were alright.
The problems then occurred again, and the plane lost elevation and strayed off the planned path. The pilot again stated that the autopilot was malfunctioning.
The plane then disappeared, and the air traffic controllers were unable to get another response. The aircraft went down in an area so remote that search teams could only access it on foot.
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