• Plane crashes near homes in northwest Georgia, killing pilot

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    Gordon County, Ga. - Officials say a small aircraft crashed in Gordon County on Saturday afternoon, killing the pilot.

    The plane went down shortly after takeoff from the airport in Calhoun, crashing close to a neighborhood, officials said.  

    Channel 2's Michael Seiden was at the scene, where officials said the aircraft was an experimental, amateur-built plane.

    The pilot has been identified as Richard Hogan, 63, of Cartersville. Hogan owned Commuter Craft, a company that designed airplanes. 

    Seiden learned that Hogan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he planned to build an unusual-looking propeller plane called The Innovator. Officials said he crashed it Saturday during a test flight. 

    Seiden spoke to neighbors, who said that the crash sounded like a bomb going off. 

    "I was sitting out front with my neighbors, and we heard an engine come across the hill," Jody Miller said. "We heard a loud blast, like a bomb going off."

    Miller said he never saw the plane coming. 

    "We all shot to the backyard and didn't see any smoke, but we saw a wheel here in the pasture and then we saw a cloud of dust coming out of the trees," Miller said. 


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    Miller told Seiden he rushed toward the crash, hoping the pilot was still alive, but  he quickly realized it was too late. 

    “I went out there myself and got about 10 feet from there, and I turned around and walked back," Miller said.  

    Miller called 911. 

    Investigators said they are still working to determine the cause of the crash, but they say the pilot was flying an experimental plane and something went terribly wrong. 

    Miller and his neighbors are shaken but glad the aircraft didn't go down on any of their homes. 

    "If it had gone down earlier, it could've been in this house or that house ... or any house in this neighborhood," Miller said 

    National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive at the scene Sunday morning. 

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