UPDATE: Airport officials say the single engine plane was landing in the airport when it crashed. They're hoping the FAA can answer many of their unanswered questions.
“Circling rather quickly maybe the pilot was trying to come back. Unfortunate he didn't make it,” said Bob Etheridge. It is a sight he will never forgot, a plane crashing right in front of his eyes. “It didn't gain a lot of altitude, like about 300 feet. Then it started into a hard left bank which was unusual.”
He lives right behind the Collegedale Municipal Airport. He was near the tarmac when the plane took off. He knew something wasn't right. “Bank to the left, bank to the right. And then unfortunately the plane went right into the ground.”
He immediately sprang into action hoping to help the four people on board. “I jumped out of the car and grabbed my phone and went to see if anyone got out of the plane and dialed 911.”
As we wait to learn the cause of the crash, Etheridge says the victims and their families are his number one concern. “It is very very sad, my family sends out condolences and prayers to all the families involved in this crash.”
The airport will remain closed until the FAA completes their investigation.
PREVIOUS STORY: A plane crashed in Collegedale on Saturday shortly before 1 p.m. and claimed two lives.
It happened at the Collegedale Municipal Airport after a Mooney M20E took off from the runway, according to the FAA.
Graysville Fire Department asking for prayers after Collegedale plane crash with 2 reported fatalities. pic.twitter.com/bLlwKgeilg
Channel 3 spoke to an eyewitness who told Channel 3 he called 911 when he saw the plane go down shortly after taking off.
"This thing went into a left bank and was probably 300 feet off the ground," he told Channel 3.
"It did probably 270 degrees and was still just barely above the trees when it started coming back toward my property. It looked like the guy tried to straighten it up and then he lost power, stalled and went into the ground nose first," he described.
"It's like it just fell out of the sky," said the eyewitness, who stayed on scene until first responders arrived.
Officials confirm two people were killed in the crash that also left two others injured.