DEKALB County, Ga. – Four people were on board a plane that crashed and caught fire at DeKalb-Peachtree airport on Friday afternoon, were killed, DeKalb Fire Rescue reports.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a single-engine Cessna 210 crashed into PDK airport around 1 p.m.
The plane caught fire after crashing and large flames and smoke were seen at the crash site.
The remains of a Cessna 210 after it crashed at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport on October 8, 2021. (FOX 5)
“It happened pretty quickly,” said photographer Keith Berry, who witnessed the incident. “And the fire, it turned and smoked for a second and engulfed in flames.”
Berry, who is a professional photographer, often comes to PDK to take pictures of the planes. The owner of Images By Keith was at the airport taking some photos through the airport fence during a lunch break when he saw the plane crash.
“As you can see, it crashed, it landed, and I don’t know if it was just a hard landing, but it turned around, and then it went on fire,” Berry said.
Plane crashed at PDK airport on October 8, 2021. (Chris Lucas)
Berry said he does not want to speculate on what might have happened, but he just knows he saw.
“The plane just came and landed, and it bounced a little bit, and when it bounced, that was when it tilted to the side,” he said.
Berry said he did not even shoot while it came in because he had disbelief in what he saw.
Respondents arrive at the scene of a plane crash at PDK airport. (Chris Lucas)
Steven Lemasters and his family were inside the Downwind Restaurant and Lounge, which overlooks the airport’s runways, as he looked outside to see the plane burn.
“It was just interesting to see the shock rise, and shock is the right answer, because it was people in the head … just confused,” Lemasters said.
“My dad was actually the one who saw the movement out of the corner of his eye, he saw what he realized was the plane moving from the runway,” Lemasters said. “Wasn’t sure if it took off or landed, but as soon as I looked over, it happens (lightning fast) in an instant, but it was already in flames.”
Lemasters caught these flames on his cell phone.
“One of the wildest parts of it was that we did not hear anything, and you know, all the engines that went around it at the airport, we thought we would have heard an explosion or something, but it was completely silent, said Lemasters.
He said he initially thought this was an exercise, but that idea was quickly thrown aside.
“At the end of the day, some family will get a call that they did not expect on a beautiful, sunny Friday, he was probably out there, I do not know, he could have been like just practicing flying. I mean, it’s not a call you expect, “Lemasters said.
Lemasters said he and his family are frequent patrons of Downwind and said they have never seen anything like it.
“What was so tragic was that we saw it for a few minutes and of course there was an incredibly large fire going on with all the aviation fuel involved and no one getting off the plane,” Lemasters said. “I think it was the kind that broke everyone.”
A burning plane crash led to a 2-alarm response from DeKalb Fire Rescue at PDK on October 8, 2021. (FOX 5)
PDK airport was closed after the crash, FOX 5 has confirmed.
The identities of those killed in the crash have not yet been released.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting an investigation.
Firefighters inspect the remains of a burned aircraft at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport on October 8, 2021. (FOX 5)
This is not the first fatal crash at PDK. Season flight veteran Greg Connell was killed during an air show at the airport back in May 2016.
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