Former Emory student died in NW Atlanta plane crash

As officials continued to investigate what caused a plane to crash in a northwest Atlanta neighborhood Tuesday night, new details about the occupants emerged Thursday.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the passenger as 23-year-old Brittany McAuley, a former Emory University student originally from New York. And records showed Tuesday’s crash, which also killed the plane’s pilot, Peter Mallen, the 67-year-old CEO of Mallen Industries, was not his first.

Attempts to reach the McAuley and Mallen families as well as officials at Mallen Industries were unsuccessful Thursday.

McAuley, who last attended Emory in the spring of 2012, was an intern at Chartis Inc., the former property and casualty division of AIG, in 2011. According to a news release from the defunct subsidiary, McAuley was one of 67 interns who helped design a social media strategy for the unit, which was rebranded back into AIG. She was one of five interns selected to help refine and present a strategy to the division’s leadership team.

Mallen started his company shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia, according to an online obituary. Mallen Industries produces “high performance textile products for the industrial, automotive, active wear and intimate apparel industries,” according to the company’s website.

Online, former employees expressed their gratitude for his guidance and friends spoke fondly of his warm smile and good nature.

“I only worked for Peter for two years,” Carla Silver said on the website of Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, which is handling services for Mallen. “I have never forgotten those days learning his business.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Mallen Industries was the registered owner of the twin-engine Raytheon 390 Premier I jet that crashed at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday in the 2200 block of Thomas Road, near Bolton Road and I-285. It ignited on impact and burned in the woods, about 200 yards from houses, witnesses said.

Tuesday’s crash was not Mallen’s first, federal records show. 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, but the plane was destroyed. The National Transportation Safety Board determined was caused by “the pilot’s inadequate preflight [inspection] of the aircraft, resulting in fuel supply exhaustion.”

This week’s crash was the second aviation-related tragedy for the Mallen family. 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, according to NTSB records.

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