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Monday May 4th, 2015 9:22PM

NTSB: Pilot likely caused mountain plane crash

By The Associated Press
ELLIJAY, Ga. (AP) Federal aviation investigators have determined that a pilot's actions are the probable cause of a crash that killed him and three passengers in the north Georgia mountains.

The Beechcraft Bonanza vanished in the Chattahoochee National Forest on May 30, 2011, while on a sightseeing flight during the 50th reunion of the Gilmer County High School Class of 1961.

Killed were pilot Phil Key of Pataskala, Ohio; and passengers Patricia Smith, of Ellijay; and a couple, Woody and Mattie Pierce of Ellijay.

The National Transportation Safety Board's investigation uncovered a past problem with the plane's altimeter, but said the pilot should have been able to see and avoid obstacles.

The NTSB said in its report that the pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance from the mountainous terrain was the probable cause of the crash.
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