Federal investigators begin looking at Cordele plane crash - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Federal investigators begin looking at Cordele plane crash

CORDELE, GA (WALB) - Investigators from the NTSB and FAA are now piecing together evidence from a deadly plane crash in Cordele. It's still too early to tell exactly what made the small plane nosedive shortly after take off yesterday, but the probe into how it happened began today.

Federal investigators comb through a crash site in Cordele that left 61 year Rene St. Julien dead, and his wife Jan in critical condition.

"The purpose of the on scene investigation is to gather perishable information. And what that is is evidence that will no longer be available once the wreckage is disturbed," said Air Safety Investigator Stephen Stein from the NTSB.

Investigators will then look through St. Julien's pilot history, the plane itself, and other factors that may have led to the crash.

"We'll be looking at any environmental factors that may have played a role including lighting conditions, weather, and any sort of air traffic control information that may be available," said Stein.

St. Julien was traveling with three other planes to an air show in north Georgia and stopped in Crisp County for fuel. Stein says the NTSB's goal is to make safety guidelines that will prevent this from happening again.

"Our primary mission is to understand what happened and to report that to the community so that the community can benefit from that knowledge," said Stein.

Stein estimates that investigation could take more than a year to complete.

The NTSB is asking anyone who may have seen or heard the crash to contact them at 202-314-6000 or by email at witness@ntsb.gov.

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