Three Peachtree City men died when a small plane crashed Saturday afternoon in LaGrange.
The plane, a Beechcraft Baron twin-engine, went down about 2:07 p.m., killing Vincent Michael Rossetti, 60; Willy Lutz, 69; and Jeffery Van Curtis, 53.
Two men died at the scene, Lt. Chris Taylor with the LaGrange Fire Department officials said in an emailed statement. Another man was flown to Columbus Medical Center, where he died.
Bill Flynn, a friend of all three men, spoke with Channel 2 Action News on Sunday of behalf of the Rossetti and Curtis families. He said his friends were taking care of routine training requirements when the crash occurred.
“They just loved flying … and they were best of buddies,” Flynn said.
Rossetti was the CEO of Ravin Homes, Curtis was a family physician, according to Channel 2. Lutz was a flight instructor and retired Delta flight instructor as well, according to a family member.
“These guys were well known by everybody, well respected … very involved,” Flynn said.
The plane, which took off from Panama City, Fla., arrived at the LaGrange airport about 10:45 a.m. Saturday and was refueled, Channel 2 reported. According to witnesses, the plane was practicing some maneuvers when it suddenly had to avoid a glider. After that move, the plane went into a deadly nose-dive, according to the report.
The plane, which was manufactured in 1980, was registered to Executive Aircraft Storage LLC of Peachtree City, according to online Federal Aviation Administration records. The FAA was investigating the crash, agency spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived Sunday to continue the investigation.
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The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the Federal Government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.
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