For all the noise that Steven Foster and his neighbors said they endure regularly from takeoffs and landings at nearby (PDK), an evening plane crash just two doors down Monday night hardly made a sound.
"I was in my office, which is in the back," Foster said. "I heard a noise that sounded like a dumpster and got up to look outside, but I didn't see anything. But when I started to hear sirens and helicopters, I knew there was something going on."
That something, police said, was a Cessna 172 in trouble attempting to make an emergency landing at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, according to police. The plane didn't make it to the runway but crashed into a tree and landed - without much damage to property or people - in the backyard of a home in the 2500 block of Hawthorne Drive. According to investigators, the plane was enroute to the Chamblee airfield from Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The pilot and his young son were injured, but remain in stable condition at local hospitals, said DeKalb police said. The victims names were not released yesterday afternoon.
"We had crews out on the runway waiting for the plane to get in, then we got a 911 call from this neighborhood stating that an airport had crashed," said Fire Chief Eddie O'Brien. "Fortunately when [emergency crews] got here, both victims were already out of the airplane and were being assisted by some homeowners."
DeKalb County Police Sgt. Jim Shepherd called the incident "amazing".
"There are so many things that could have gone wrong - be it striking a house, catching fire, and with the very minor injuries we had on board - it's just nothing short of miraculous," Shepherd said.
Debris from the crash was being removed Tuesday morning and loaded onto a truck to be taken to a hangar in Griffin for further examination.
Eric Alleyne, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said a decision was made to move the aircraft to examine it further. Alleyne, who himself examined the aircraft said he would look at it again Wednesday.
“Once we look at that and more of the maintenance records and the pilots records and certificates we’ll be in a better position to determine the cause," he said.
CORRECTION: A hyperlink on the homepage this morning accidentally linked to an old airplane crash report on 11 Alive from 2008 in which one person was killed. No one was killed in Monday's crash.