A new federal report says witnesses heard normal engine sounds and saw nothing else unusual as a small plane lifted from an airport in Calhoun moments before it crashed into trees, killing the pilot.
The preliminary report Thursday from the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane crashed into a tree about 50 feet above the ground and caught on fire.
Authorities identified the pilot killed as 73-year-old Roy Gardner Russom of Calhoun. He was the only person on board when the plane crashed around 2 p.m. on Dec. 18. The NTSB said the plane was an experimental, amateur-built Hummel H5.
Thursday's report is a preliminary one, and the investigation into what caused the crash is continuing.
Calhoun is about 65 miles northwest of Atlanta in Gordon County.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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