NTSB releases report on plane crash that killed East TN couple, 2 grandchildren

Murray County plane crash (WTVC)

CHATSWORTH, Ga. (WATE) – The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary report on a deadly plane crash reveals the plane flew into a thunderstorm moments before it crashed.

The crash happened on July 1, 2017 at around 4:44 p.m. near Chatsworth Georgia. Mary Jo Yarbrough, 61, and Dexter Lee Gresham, 55, were killed in the crash, as were Yarbrough’s grandchildren Austin Day, 10, and Kinsley Wilson, 10, according to WTVC-TV.

Dexter Gresham, 55, and Mary Joe Yarbrough, 61 (Courtesy: WTVC)


The NTSB said the family was returning home to McMinn County Airport after a week long trip in Tuskegee, Alabama. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot was not receiving radar services, nor was he in communication with air traffic control during the flight. Radar shows a plane consistent with the size of Gresham’s plane heading northeast when it hit a thunderstorms advancing from the northwest.

Witnesses said they heard a loud “boom” then saw pieces of the airplane and personal belongings falling out of the clouds. Shortly after hearing the noice, witness told the NTSB they watched the airplane come “tumbling and spinning” out of the sky.

Investigators said the plane’s wreckage was scattered over a mile across dense vegetation. They said they found pieces of the plane’s fuselage, fragments of the right and left wing. They said the fuselage, cockpit and cabin of the plane were completely destroyed.



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