FAA continues Decatur Co. crash investigation

FAA continues Decatur Co. crash investigation
Donald Anderson (Source: Facebook)
Donald Anderson (Source: Facebook)

DECATUR CO., GA (WALB) - More details are being uncovered on a fatal plane crash in Decatur County.

Federal Aviation investigators were at the scene of plane crash in Decatur County Friday, that claimed the life on a well known pilot the night before.

The crash happened on a private runway owned by the victim.

Decatur County Sheriff's Officials say Donald Anderson, 50, was killed on impact, when his single engine plane prop airplane crashed just before 7 p.m. on his property on Eula Mills Road, near Vada.

"We believe he clipped a tree on the way down, which lead to him crashing the aircraft," said Sgt. Adam Mobley of the sheriff's office.

The body was been sent to the GBI Crime Lab, which is standard protocol.

As the owner of Anderson Manufacturing, he was a well-known person in the community.

Friday night, people in the Valdosta community were remembering their good friend, Donald Anderson.

"The whole community out here will miss him," said friend Lee Flynt.

"He's been an asset to this community, helping everyone out," said friend Jimmy Glover.

The Decatur County Sheriff's office was called to the scene of the plane crash just before seven Thursday night. That's where they found Anderson dead on scene.

"He was a local business owner. He was very popular in the community," said Investigator Justin Bedwell, Decatur Co. Sheriff's Office.

Members of the FAA and NTSB were on scene Friday.

FAA officials say they won't know more until they plane is taken to Atlanta Air Savage Saturday, but by looking at the way it landed they think there was an engine problem. They say it looks like he was trying to land, but the engine didn't turn over like it should have. NTSB officials say they won't speculate until later.

"We're going through the documentation phase and making sure we can document everything we can on scene and documenting the perishable evidence before we move it," said Ralph Hicks, NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator.

Friends teared up as they looked at what was left of the plane.

"We all cried. I'm still crying. He was a loss for the community," said friend Greg Myers.

Anderson owned Anderson Manufacturing. Based in Camilla, the company manufactures trailers of all types.

"He had a good heart. He didn't let his money get to his head," said Myers.

It wasn't Anderson's only flight or his only plane. Friends say he owned several.

"I always thought he was a pretty good pilot," said friend Lee Flynt. "It breaks your heart, you know."

Friday night, friends and family were in shock that he was taken at such a young age.

Friends say Anderson had three children.

Thursday night his daughter wanted to fly with him, but he wanted to fly alone instead.

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