THOMSON, Ga. (AP) — A private jet hit a utility pole that wasn't listed on aeronautical charts before running into trees and bursting into flames last February, killing a Georgia vascular surgeon and four colleagues, federal investigators said in a report released Wednesday.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the plane with Vein Guys medical practice employees aboard hit the unlighted pole at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport near Augusta the night of Feb. 20, 2013. The plane's six seats were found scattered among the fiery wreckage and were detached from the floor of the aircraft, according to the report.
The plane's left wing hit the pole as it was lifting off after a failed landing attempt, NTSB investigators said. The pilot aborted the landing after a warning light for the Beechcraft 390 Premier jet's anti-skid system illuminated.
Georgia Power built the pole in 1989, but didn't notify the Federal Aviation Administration, and the obstruction wasn't listed on aeronautical charts, according to the NTSB report. The pole supplied power to a nearby textile plant.
"The pole and its involvement with airspace at the airport is currently under review by the FAA. The FAA is conducting further study on the pole in question and a final determination has not been made," said Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright.
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