Two men were killed Friday afternoon when a small airplane from an Atlanta flight school crashed as it took off from an airport near Rome, authorities said.
The victims' names were not made public Friday, but the twin-engine plane, a Beechcraft BE76, was registered to Aviation Atlanta Inc., a flight training school for aspiring amateur and professional pilots.
Both men were from metro Atlanta.
One of them was an instructor for Aviation Atlanta, said the company's president, Phil Sanders.
"He was a tremendous man — our best instructor," Sanders said. "I can't say enough good things about him."
Sanders declined to say how long the man had been working for Aviation Atlanta, but said he left behind a wife and family.
He said the company does its best to keep crashes from occurring, "but sometimes we can't," he said.
He would not comment further.
This is the second Duchess that Aviation Atlanta has lost in recent years. This story is just sad, as I personally knew the instructor - a Duluth, GA resident and aspiring airline pilot - and was even considering this flight school recently. The student pilot - a native of India - was reportedly at the controls at the time of the accident.
Such a shame, may both victims rest in peace. My prayers go out to thier families.
Chris in Atlanta
[Edited 2008-03-22 04:04:31]