Atlanta – A Tennessee-bound business jet crashed Thursday and killed all four people aboard when it fell into a football field in an Atlanta park, ignited fuel and sent thick smoke over a nearby area, officials said. The aircraft is registered with Wei Chen, CEO of Sunshine Enterprises, CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports. He was aboard the plane as it went down.
Mike McAnnally confirmed a subsidiary of Chens firm Stepup Scaffold Chen's death to the Commercial Appeal. "He was a remarkable man, and the true American dream," McAnnally told the newspaper.
A home behind the sports area was damaged, but no damage was reported on the ground, Atlanta Fire Rescue Sgt. Cortez Stafford said.
The plane's wreck was spread out on the ground over 1
The plane was "shooting out of the sky", Reggie Dumas knew journalists on stage.
"When it went down, you could see the wings shift back and forth," said Dumas, who saw the plane jumping as he drove along a nearby road. He said he jumped out of his car to see if he could help anyone, but no survivors – only smoke.
Chen became the first Chinese pilot to circumcise the globe in a single-engine plan, Commercial Appeal reported in 2011. Chen was named for Memphis Business Journal's 40 During Forty in 2008.
"I hate anyone losing their lives especially around this time of year," neighbor Clarence Thompson told WGCL. "I know they have things in their hearts and minds that they would do with their families and they will never do."
The plane was a Cessna Citation V jet, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told The Associated Press.
The plane was headed to Millington-Memphis Airport when it went down, said airport chief executive Roy Remington.
Remington said a fire officer at Millington airport, located about 32 km) north of Memphis, worked with Atlanta authorities to determine the identity of the other killed. Remington says the victims were believed to be from the Memphis area.
"This is a tragedy," he said.
The beam had departed from a lane in nearby Fulton County Airport-Brown Field and drove about 2.5 miles (2.4 miles) east of the airport shortly after dinner, Bergen said. The airport itself is about 10 miles west of downtown Atlanta.
The plane's wreck is not far from a small set of metal whistles and the yellow goal post in the football field's end zone, video from WAGA TV shows. Most of the aircraft is heavily burned. The tail is one of the only parts that seem to be intact.
Firemen had to make their way through jet fuel to put the flames on the football field, Stafford said.
The airport is a busy general aviation facility with a flight control tower and fire station. The average a combined 164 starts and landings every day.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the accident.