February 06, Atlanta, Ga. / Piper Cherokee Six


At 1402 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-300 crashed nine minutes after takeoff from Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, killing the pilot and three passengers. The pilot had filed an IFR flight plan to Savannah, Ga., and was given instructions after departure to fly a heading of 090. Instead, the airplane flew a wide arc to the right through 360 degrees. Departure again instructed the pilot to fly 090 and instructed the pilot of the 360-degree turn. Shortly after that, the controller asked the pilot to say heading, and the pilot reported 240. The controller again instructed a turn to 090. Radar data showed the airplane then turned left to about 060 degrees before turning right and beginning a descent. The controller queried the pilot, who said he was trying to get out of a spin. The airplane then descended until it crashed about 1.8 miles east of the airport. The pilot had received his instrument rating in December 2001.


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