Plane headed to LaGrange crashes near Tifton killing one - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Plane headed to LaGrange crashes near Tifton killing one

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Crash site near Tifton, Georgia. Photo Courtesy The Tifton Gazette / TiftonGazettte.com. Crash site near Tifton, Georgia. Photo Courtesy The Tifton Gazette / TiftonGazettte.com.
Map, provided by FlightAware.com, shows the planes estimated location prior to the crash. Map, provided by FlightAware.com, shows the planes estimated location prior to the crash.
The plane photographed as optional, additional floats attached. It is not known if the plane involved in the Georgia crash had these. Photo by TimothyMN. The plane photographed as optional, additional floats attached. It is not known if the plane involved in the Georgia crash had these. Photo by TimothyMN.
A radar image captured by the WRBL First Alert Weather Center shows some rain in the area prior to the crash. A radar image captured by the WRBL First Alert Weather Center shows some rain in the area prior to the crash.
TIFTON, Ga. -

A small plane headed to LaGrange has crashed in Tift County, officials confirm to WRBL News 3. One person has died.

Authorities in the community about two hours southeast of Columbus received the 911 call around 10:09 a.m. The Piper PA-28R-180 aircraft was headed from Merritt Island, Florida to LaGrange-Callaway Airport when it crashed near 462 Red Oak Road in Tifton.

The plane is registered to Leadlay Aircraft LLC based out of Merritt Island, according to the FCC Database. It is described as a fixed wing single-engine aircraft manufactured in 1968.

Flight data obtained by WRBL News 3 via FlightAware.com shows the plane's flight path. It had traveled three and a half hours before crashing. The plane was being tracked by air traffic controllers out of Jacksonville, Florida and had a last known speed of 96 mph. Data estimations from that aviation control center shows the plane began a steady increase in altitude starting at 9:55 a.m. This is about the time the plane turns northwestward to go around air space in Tifton. As the plane continues to climb as it passes Tifton along the airspace's northwest boundary.

By 10:06 a.m., the aircraft reaches 6,600 feet, according to the flight center estimations. At 10:07 a.m., the plane drops 1,080 feet. A minute later, it drops another 1,080 feet.  By 10:09 a.m., the moment authorities receive their first 911 call, the plane's altitude has stopped changing.

A radar image just prior to the crash captured by the WRBL First Alert Weather Center shows rain in the area. Investigators will have to determine if weather was a factor in the crash.

The name of the deceased has not been released pending notification of next of kin. The FAA and NTSB have been notified and the investigation is ongoing.

**This is a developing story. Refresh this page for the latest from WRBL.com

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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