DeKalb County

Pilot killed in air show crash at PDK identified as Greg Connell

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb Fire Rescue has confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that there was a fatal plane crash at The DeKalb-Peachtree Airport Saturday afternoon.

The fatal crash took place at the Good Neighbor Day Stunt Show.

Witnesses say a biplane was engaged in a maneuver and was unable to pull out of a dive.

Police say the pilot did not survive the crash.

Friends have identified the pilot as South Carolina native Greg Connell of Greg Connell Airshows.

Gary Ward was the man flying the other plane in the maneuver that killed Connell.

"Greg flew underneath me and I had no idea Greg crashed like a second later. So I pulled off and the plan we had," Ward said, "I came back in the show for the next maneuver. We did individual maneuvers at that point, and I went ahead and did my next maneuver, not knowing that Greg had crashed.




Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been called to investigate the cause of this crash.

"We're looking at the man, the machine and the environment. Obviously the weather was good, some wind and we'll take that into consideration," Ralph Hicks with the NTSB said.

Airport officials say this is the first crash they've had at PDK during the 30 years the airport has been hosting air shows.

Flag at PDK are at half staff in honor of Connell.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with Starr Jones of Atlanta who was at the air show with her daughter.

"It happened right in front of where I was standing. It was awful," Jones said. "The announcer said, 'A plane has crashed. Please cover your children's eyes and turn away.'"

Jones said she turned her daughter away from the scene of the crash and told her, "Let's say a prayer for that person."

Moments later Jones said the announcer told the crowd the show was shutting down.

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May issued the following statement:

"A tragedy occurred as professional pilots entertained and educated thousands today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the pilot who lost his life."

Monitor and tune into Channel 2 Action News for updates on this story


Plane crashes at pdk air show

Posted by Rebecca Lamb on Saturday, May 14, 2016