Plane crashes in Tift County near Chula

The plane went down Friday morning on Red Oak Road near Chula. / Courtney Highfield

Second Update (10/28/13) From the Associated Press:

Authorities investigating a deadly air crash say the small plane had descended from its cruising altitude before radar and radio contact was lost.

The National Transportation Safety Board says in its preliminary report that no distress calls or further communications were received from the pilot before the plane plunged into a field north of Tifton Oct. 18. The area is about 40 miles east of Albany.

A nearby resident told investigators the plane flew over his house very fast, but then fell straight down. He said clouds were low at the time.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Piper PA-28 had departed Merritt Island, Fla., heading to an airport in La Grange. The lone occupant, 39-year-old Michael Elliott Leadlay of Orlando, Fla., was killed.

The NTSB's investigation is continuing.

First Update (10/21/13)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed to Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough the identity of the pilot killed in a private plane crash Friday in Tift County according to information released Monday.

Sheriff Scarbrough said that the pilot was identified as 39 year old Michael Elliott Leadlay of Orlando Florida.

The last radar contact with the Piper PA-28-R, single engine plane, was at 10:08 Friday morning with the initial call to the E-911 center occurring only moments later at 10:09.

Initial Story
Sheriff Gene Scarbrough of the Tift County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a plane crash in Tift County.

The plane went down Friday morning on Red Oak Road near Chula.

Officials say that there has been one fatality confirmed.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are on their way from Atlanta to aid in the investigation. Preliminary information from them say that the accident happened at about 10 a.m. today near 462 Red Oak Road in Tifton, GA. One person was on board the Piper PA-28 aircraft, which departed Merritt island, FL and was headed to LaGrange-Callaway Airport in LaGrange, GA.

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