The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a fiery plane crash involving a single-engine private plane that crashed into a row of suburban Atlanta townhomes Oct. 30, killing two people.
Authorities said that a Piper PA-28 airplane took off from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) Oct. 30 bound for Salisbury, North Carolina, from where it arrived earlier. According to Charlotte, North Carolina’s Fox 46 News, the plane crashed about 10:30 a.m. shortly after taking off in “less than ideal weather conditions.”
Witnesses reported seeing and hearing the plane struggling to gain altitude before colliding with the Clairmont Hills Townhouses, structurally damaging six of the units. The DeKalb County Fire Marshal declared the townhouses unsafe to live in due to the extensive damage and fuel vapor.
DeKalb County officials said the two people killed in the accident were both on the airplane. They identified the victims as Leslie Csanyi, 59, and Scott Robert Lowrie, 60, both of Salisbury, North Carolina. No people were harmed in the apartment complex or on the ground.
Fox 46 reported that FlightAware’s plane tracking website showed the plane was returning to Mid-Carolina Regional Airport in Salisbury. Plane readings stopped for the flight at 10:20, about the same time the plane crash occurred.
Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion. Fragments of the airplane were scattered around the crash site for more than half a mile. It’s not clear if the parts fell from the plane before impact or were hurled away from the crash site in the collision.
The NTSB is still in the earliest stages of its investigation and hasn’t made any statements about the potential causes of the crash.
Atlanta’s WSB-TV Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said that there were low-lying clouds in the region with a visibility of about three miles at the time of the crash. NTSB officials, however, have not made any determination that weather conditions played a role.
At the time of the plane crash near PDK airport visibility was 3 miles. The ceiling (cloud base) was just 400 feet.
— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) October 30, 2019
The NTSB usually releases a preliminary report within a couple weeks of a plane crash, but a final report of the investigation usually takes between a year to 18 months.
Mike Andrews, a lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability section, focuses much of his practice on aviation accident litigation. He has represented people seriously injured in aviation crashes, and the family of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes. Currently, Mike represents family members of victims in the Ethiopian Airlines crash involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.