Small plane crashed into residential Georgia neighborhood, killing pilot


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A pilot has died after a small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in a Georgia city.

The plane crashed on Thursday a little more than a half mile from Daniel Field, a general aviation airport in Augusta.

Augusta University told local news outlets that the pilot was Jason McKenzie, the associate director of philanthropy at the school. McKenzie had just taken off in a single-engine Beechcraft 36 with plans to fly to New Haven, Connecticut.

It’s unclear what caused the plane to descend. As it was coming down, it clipped a tree and hit power lines, leaving debris in the tree, and then crashed between two homes in the affluent neighborhood, bursting into flames. No one else was injured, and the plane didn’t hit any buildings.

“I think that was a miracle,” resident Lisa Lewis told WRDW-TV. “I think the Lord protected everyone else.”

Neighbors said that while it’s not unusual to hear planes so close to the airport, this one sounded much louder, followed by the boom of the crash. Firefighters knocked down flames that video showed roaring high into the air.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate. Police roped off a residential intersection with burned debris.