Pilot killed as plane crashes at air show at DeKalb Peachtree Airport

The pilot of a plane was killed Saturday afternoon when it crashed during an air show at DeKalb Peachtree Airport, officials said.

The crash occurred near the end of the Good Neighbor Day Air Show and Open House at PDK, about 4:49 p.m. The crash occurred while the pilot was performing aerial acrobatics.

The pilot was from the Augusta area, airport director Mario Evans said at a media briefing. His identity was not released, pending notification of next of kin. However, Channel 2 Action News reported that his name is Greg Connell of Greg Connell Airshows.

It was the first accident in the air show’s 30-years-plus history, officials said.

“It’s a traumatic incident,” Evans said. “I knew the pilot personally, so I don’t want to go any further. I’m just emotional.”

There was no thought that anyone else was in the plane, DeKalb Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander said.

Officials said they have no idea at this point what caused the crash. Evans said there was some wind, but said, “That’s a normal day for us.”

“It is very, very tragic,” Alexander said. “There was a large crowd that was still here watching the air show when this occurred, so we know this is going to be very traumatic to a lot of people who witnessed this unfortunate event.”

“There were a lot of fire and police and civilian personnel who were here as well, and any time something like this happens, it is so tragic, and our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this pilot.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are involved in the ongoing investigation.

ExploreRead and sign the online guestbook for pilot Greg Connell