Tuesday night’s fatal plane crash in northwest Atlanta wasn’t the first aviation tragedy to strike the family of the pilot who died.
Peter Mallen, the 67-year-old CEO of Mallen Industries, the Norcross-based textile company he founded after college, was killed along with passenger Brittany McAuley when his private jet crashed and burned shortly after takeoff from Fulton County Airport-Brown Field.
In 1972, Mallen’s brother, Steven Mallen, was killed when the single-engine Cessna he was piloting from Concord, N.C., to Chattanooga, Tenn., encountered severe turbulence over north Georgia and crashed northwest of Atlanta near Jasper.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the probable cause of the 1972 crash was “improper in-flight decisions or planning,” thunderstorms and turbulence.
NTSB records also show that Tuesday’s crash wasn’t Peter Mallen’s first.
On Oct. 20, 1998, his Beech B200 King Air, a twin-engine turboprop, crash landed in a field near Rio Rancho, N.M., while on a flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta.
Neither Mallen nor his passenger was injured in that crash, which the NTSB determined was caused by “the pilot’s inadequate preflight [inspection] of the aircraft, resulting in fuel supply exhaustion.”
The 9-seat King Air was destroyed, according to the FAA report. Both that plane and the one that crashed Tuesday were owned by Mallen Industries and the King Air’s registration number – N50PM – was also the registration number of the Raytheon twin-engine jet in Tuesday’s crash.
The NTSB is investigating the cause of Tuesday’s crash, and was working Thursday to remove the wreckage.