Man dies in ultralight aircraft crash in Dade County
By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
DADE COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - A man is dead after crashing his ultralight aircraft on Lookout Mountain. It happened around 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon on Burkhalter Gap Road.
A family member on the scene of the accident tells us the man was an experienced pilot and very active in his community.
At this point, officials are calling this a tragic accident.
"Right now it's under investigation, so we don't know the exact cause of the accident or anything," says Dade Co. Sheriff Patrick Cannon.
Around 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon, the ultralight powered aircraft crashed into the woods off Burkhalter Gap Road in Dade County.
"Unfortunately we have had it happen in the past. But it's not like an every day occurrence. They do practice safety, the hang glider community, they do preach, teach safety," says Cannon.
There is no word on how fast or how high the aircraft was when it started to go down but the force of the crash snapped several trees.
The Dade County Coroner pronounced the pilot dead at the scene.
"It's a sad situation. A very sad situation, that one of our citizens in our flight park community personnel have lost their life," says Cannon.
A family member at the scene tells us the pilot was Charles Matthews, the president of Crates Leather Company in Chattanooga and an avid flyer, saying he has been taking to the air since he was 14 years old.
The Sheriff says the flight community knows him well.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the flight park community. They're fine citizens of Dade County and we just hate that this has happened to them."
As standard procedure, Sheriff Cannon says the FAA and the NTSB are being brought in to investigate the crash.