2 dead in NW Atlanta plane crash

9:03 PM, Dec 18, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The Fulton County medical examiner has identified one of the two victims in Tuesday's fatal plane crash in northwest Atlanta.

PHOTOS: Plane crash in NW Atlanta

According to the Federal Aviation Association (FAA), the plane went down in a vacant gully near Rutherford Street and Forrest Place around 7:25 p.m. 

NTSB safety investigators remained on the scene of Tuesday night's deadly plane crash in to evening hours Wednesday. Investigators are trying to recover critical and perishable evidence from the scene in hopes of piecing together what might have caused the crash. 

So far they have recovered a flight data recorder that has been providing useful information, and also have confirmed that the pilot had contact with the tower just before his crash, potentially indicating he was in distress and requesting help. Investigators expect to be on the scene at least one day and plan to move the body of the plane on Thursday to a safe location for more review.

Several neighbors are calling the pilot a hero for avoiding their homes. Some are organizing an effort to make a makeshift memorial at the crash site.

"You know we think he's really a hero for sacrificing himself not to hurt anyone else," said neighbor Katia Sedova.

The Fulton County ME says one victim was Peter Mallen, of Mallen Industries in Norcross.  Mallen Industries makes specialty textile products.

The identity of the second victim has not been released yet.

FAA officials say the aircraft was a Raytheon 390 Premier I multi-engine aircraft.

The flight departed from the Fulton County Airport and was bound for the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. 

One witness said the plane "looked like the pilot deliberately headed for the vacant gully to avoid the many houses in the closely packed neighborhood." 

Officials have not yet released the identity of the second victim.

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