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Four Killed in Gordon County Cessna Plane Crash

Cessna 501 Citation I/SP

A Cessna Citation plane crash in North Georgia killed four people on the morning of Feb. 8, 2020. The small plane crash occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. in a heavily wooded area near Fairmont in Gordon County.

The Cessna 501 Citation I/SP departed from Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia at around 9:48 a.m. with John C. Tune Airport in Nashville, Tennessee as its destination. Weather forecasts in the area showed heavy snowfall between 7:30 a.m. and noon, which called for instrument-rated flight conditions.

According to media reports, the aircraft was roughly 50 miles north of Atlanta when it suddenly dropped off radar. Emergency crews found the downed plane upside down in a creek at approximately 1:12 p.m. local time. Officials said there was no evidence of a fire. The crash site, roughly three miles away from any road, is only accessible by foot or ATV.

Officials identified the deceased victims as pilot Roy Smith, 68, of Fayetteville; Raymond Sluk, 63, of Senoia; Morgen Smith, 25, of Atlanta; and Savannah Sims, 23, of Atlanta. Morgen Smith and his longtime girlfriend, Savannah Sims had just celebrated four years together in January. The young couple was traveling with Smith’s father, Roy, and Raymond Sluk, who was co-piloting.

Aviation Attorneys with Proven Track Record Litigating Cessna Plane Crash Cases

The aviation accident attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have successfully resolved numerous cases stemming from Cessna plane crashes, including:

  • Cessna 421C crash, near Shaver Lake, California, 2012
  • Cessna 180J seaplane crash, Davant, Louisiana, 2010
  • Cessna 310P vs. Cessna 172N mid-air collision, Long Beach, California, 2009
  • Cessna 172 vs. Cessna 150 mid-air collision, Corona, California, 2008
  • Cessna 310 crash into house, Compton, California, 2008
  • Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Kemper Aviation charter flight accident, near Indiantown, Florida, 2008
  • Cessna 150M crash, Holly Springs, Mississippi, 2000
  • Cessna 414 accident, near Monarch, Montana, 2000
  • Cessna T210M crash, near Marcola, Oregon, 1999
  • Cessna 404, Northern Air accident, Arusha, Tanzania, 1999
  • Cessna T210N crash, Hillsboro, Oregon, 1998
  • Cessna Skyhawk 172E crash, near Topeka, Kansas, 1997
  • Cessna 402B accident, Tampa, Florida, 1997
  • Cessna 172 crash, near Eagle River, Alaska, 1996
  • Cessna Super Skywagon 206C, Hartwood Aviation Inc. crash, near Hartwood, Virginia, 1996
  • Cessna 182R/Cessna 170A mid-air collision, Proctor, Arkansas, 1996
  • Cessna 152 accident, Long Beach, CA, 1995
  • Cessna 172M accident, Portland, Maine, 1995
  • Cessna 140 crash, Blue Mountain, Pennsylvania, 1995
  • Cessna Cardinal 177RG crash, South Lake Tahoe, California, 1994
  • Cessna 172N crash, Prescott, Arizona, 1994
  • Cessna 421B accident, Valley Park, Missouri, 1993
  • Cessna 172N, Lompoc, California, 1993
  • Cessna 182A, Skydive Long Island airplane crash, New York, 1993
  • Cessna 172, Towanda, Pennsylvania, 1993
  • Cessna 402, Adventure Airlines accident, Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1992
  • Cessna 310, Everett, Washington, 1992
  • Cessna 172, Tricorner Knob, Tennessee, 1992
  • Cessna 182 Skylane, McKinleyville, California, 1992
  • Cessna 172 Skyhawk II, Accokeek, Maryland, 1992
  • Cessna 150, Upper Kalskag, Alaska, 1992
  • Cessna 172N, Columbus, Montana, 1991
  • Cessna 172M, Bellingham, Washington, 1991
  • Cessna 402B, Tropic Air crash, Belize, 1991
  • Cessna 150J, New Bern, North Carolina, 1991
  • Cessna 150J, Kure Beach, North Carolina, 1991
  • Cessna C-172, Oregon City, Oregon, 1991
  • Cessna 210, Manassas, Virginia, 1990
  • Cessna 172, Ferry County, Washington, 1990
  • Cessna P210, La Verne, California, 1990
  • Cessna 152, San Luis Obispo, California, 1990

Our attorneys are skilled investigators who know how to determine whether a crash was caused by pilot error, weather, air traffic controller negligence, maintenance issues, defective parts, and/or a manufacturing error. Once we determine the cause or causes of a crash, we will vigorously pursue claims against any negligent party to ensure maximum compensation for our clients and their families.

What Caused the North Georgia Cessna Crash?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) deployed officials to Gordon County to investigate the cause of the fatal crash. According to an air traffic control transmission obtained by The Citizen, “one romeo gulf”(the call signal for the downed plane) reported problems with the left-hand attitude indicator. The same report indicates that the autopilot was disconnected and the small plane was then flown manually from the right seat.

Investigators will be analyzing the events that preceded the fatal crash. Among other issues, the NTSB will determine whether the snowy weather conditions and/or the problems reported by the pilots contributed to the crash. A final report on the cause of the Georgia crash will likely take a year or more to complete.



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