UPDATE: Plane crash in Collegedale reportedly kills 2, injures 2 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Collegedale plane crash in kills 2, injures 2 others

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Photo by WRCB news director Derrall Stalvey. Photo by WRCB news director Derrall Stalvey.
Photo from WRCB viewer John Daum. Photo from WRCB viewer John Daum.
Photo by WRCB news director Derrall Stalvey. Photo by WRCB news director Derrall Stalvey.
Photo from WRCB viewer John Daum. Photo from WRCB viewer John Daum.
COLLEGEDALE, TN (WRCB) -

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.

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.

A spokesperson for Erlanger Medical Center tells Channel 3 the two injured passengers were airlifted to their Chattanooga facility.

According to the FAA registry, the plane is registered to a pilot out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; however, authorities have not confirmed who was on the plane at the time of the crash.

The airport remains closed, following the crash. It is expected to stay closed until a full investigation into what caused the crash can be completed. 

Here's an update from Collegedale Police Department PIO Tonya Saddler:

Stay with Channel 3 for more on this developing story. 

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