Atlanta, Ga. - May 30, 1970 - Eight persons died and 31 others were injured when a twin-engine private plane crashed on the Moreland Avenue bridge over I-285 at Atlanta, Ga. today near Forest Park. The plane carried passengers on a free excursion trip to Florida to look at real estate.
Photo: COPY/AP
Photo: COPY/AP

4 deadly plane crashes that rocked metro Atlanta

A plane crash into a DeKalb townhome complex left at least one person dead Wednesday, adding to the list of deadly crashes in metro Atlanta during the last few years.

»RELATED: 1 killed after plane crashes into townhome complex in DeKalb County, official says

The deadly crash of the Piper PA-28 occurred about 10:30 a.m., shortly after its departure from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, damaging the Clairmont Hill Townhouses in the Briarcliff area, but none of the building’s residents were hurt, according to our AJC report. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined, but, like several other metro Atlanta-area aircraft crashes, it’s on the radar of national and international news. 

There are about 10 airports in metro Atlanta outside of the internationally known and reportedly busiest in the world, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Dozens more are spread across the state, so reports of crashes are common. However, there is a short list of aircraft collisions that took place in metro Atlanta over the years that have been markedly devastating. Here are just a few of the plane crashes that have rocked metro Atlanta.

»RELATED: 40 years later: Remembering the 72 who died in New Hope plane crash

I-285 crash in 1970

May 30, 1970 -- Six persons died and 30 others were injured when a twin-engine private plane, Lehigh Acres Development Inc. Flight 701, crashed on a bridge over I-285 in Atlanta. The line on the photo charts the plane's path as it hit the car on the interstate, bounced and skidded into the ramp of the Moreland Ave. bridge. The victims' car is visible above the cross at right, the aircraft's tail section, an engine and a wing are near the point of impact. Read the 1970 NTSB crash report (.PDF format) | Latest news on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Almost 50 years ago, a plane crash involving a twin-engine private plane killed six people and injured 30 others on May 30, 1970. The aircraft, Lehigh Acres Development Inc. Flight 701, ascended onto a bridge over I-285. The plane hit a car on the interstate, bounced and skid into the ramp of the Moreland Avenue Bridge.

I-285 crash that claimed the lives of four family members

A more recent and likely wider known plane crash on I-285 occurred in May 2015. A small plane, carrying four people headed to a graduation at the University of Mississippi Oxford, crashed into I-285. All passengers died in the crash, which was later determined to be caused by a contaminated fuel pipe. The crash claimed the lives of pilot Greg Byrd, his sons Christopher and Phillip, and Christopher’s fiancée, Jackie Kulzer, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report.

Savannah crash that killed three people in 2017

Though the crash happened near Savannah in August 2017, the chartered plane that careened into a “heavily wooded” area in Bryan County took the lives of a prominent metro Atlanta real estate developer and his wife, an HGTV interior designer. The crash killed Byron and Catherine Cocke as well as pilot Randy Hunter of Tyrone. The plane was headed to Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field from Savannah International Airport.

Authorities said the plane had just taken off from Fulton County Airport, also known as Charlie Brown Field, when it went down.

Plane crash on Bolton Road

Photo: WSB-TV

Aircraft crashes into northwest Atlanta park

A small plane headed to Memphis crashed into a northwest Atlanta park, killing everyone on board in late December 2018. The aircraft, described by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Cessna 560, dove into an area near I-285 at Bolton Road and about 2 miles from the Fulton County Airport, Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford told reporters. Four people died in the crash. One of the victims, Wei Chen, identified by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, was an avid flyer who became the first Chinese citizen to fly a single-engine airplane around the world.

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