By: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 19, 2015
CLIMAX, Ga. -- The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report following last week's fatal plane crash in Decatur County, Georgia.
The twin-engine Cessna crashed near Climax on November 9, killing both men on board.
The NTSB says the weather was overcast and foggy, but the pilot wanted to make a visual approach to the Cairo-Grady County Airport.
Radar showed the plane then went off course, circling into Decatur County, before asking for help from air traffic control to do an instrument landing.
A few minutes later, the plane crashed, hitting trees and catching fire.
The report states that the wreckage field was 45 feet wide and 150 feet long.
A PDF file of the full preliminary report is attached.
Update: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 10, 2015
CLIMAX, Ga. -- The Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Safety Board are investigating what caused a plane to crash in South Georgia on Monday, killing both people on board.
FAA officials arrived at the crash site in a wooded area in Climax, Georgia on Tuesday.
The twin-engine Cessna was scheduled to land at the Cairo-Grady County Airport around 10 a.m. According to the FAA, air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight when it was about 13 miles west of Cairo-Grady County Airport.
Search crews located the crashed plane around 4 p.m. Monday near Salem Church Road in Climax.
Two people on board the plane did not survive.
Our newsgathering partners WTVT in Tampa have identified the plane's pilot as Gene Odom and the co-pilot as Lester Hathcox.
Hathcox was a former helicopter pilot for WFLA in Tampa and for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
A spokesperson for the NTSB says it could take up to a year to determine the cause of the crash.
Investigators were able to determine that the plane crashed at a nearly 90 degree bank.
Precision Aviation Group in Cairo operates the Cairo-Grady County Airport. Precision Aviation released the following statement Tuesday:
"The tragic events surrounding the crash of N164GP/Cessna 441 Conquest on its approach into 70J/Cairo Grady County Airport where our business, Precision Aviation is located brought out the best First Responders of South Georgia and North Florida have to offer. As soon as we realized that N164GP was overdue, we were in immediate contact the FAA, the local Grady County Sheriff's Department, and the Cairo Police Department. We began to collect and correlate the known facts to help coordinate the search effort to find the missing aircraft.
"Larry and Steven Bible at Precision Aviation would particularly like to recognize and thank the Sheriff Departments of Grady, Decatur and Leon Counties, the Cairo Police Department, FAA and all the collective First Responders, EMTs, and other Law Enforcement Officers who rapidly and diligently helped in locating the wreck site near Climax, GA. The Civil Air Patrol was instrumental in providing very helpful location information. We had plenty of resources, including local pilots and drone operators who volunteered to help in the search effort, but the weather conditions during the day precluded these types of search options.
"All those who played a part in the search effort proved once again, that this community is well served, and really pulls together when the going is roughest. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those lost in the tragic accident."
By: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 9, 2015
METCALF, Ga. -- Officials in south Georgia are searching for a missing plane that was scheduled to arrive in Cairo Monday morning.
The twin-engine Cessna was scheduled to land at the Cairo-Grady County Airport around 10 a.m.
The plane departed from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida around 9 a.m. Monday.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued an Alert Notice on a Cessna 441 aircraft at about 10:15 a.m. Monday.
According to the FAA, air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight when it was about 13 miles west of Cairo-Grady County Airport.
The search area is currently focused in Grady County.
No further details are available at this time.