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Tuesday February 9th, 2016 12:58PM

Victim of Rabun Co. plane crash identified

By Brian Stewart Reporter
RABUN COUNTY - The Rabun County coroner has identified the pilot killed when his small plane crashed in northeast Georgia as 62-year-old Ernest Merkelis of Clayton. <br /> <br /> Merkelis was the lone occupant on the plane.<br /> <br /> Rabun County EMA Director Michael Mazarky said Saturday the crash happened around 9:00 a.m. shortly after takeoff.<br /> <br /> The case has been turned over to the FAA at this point.<br /> <br /> An associate from Heaven's Landing, where the plan took off, said the plane was bound for Chicago, and from there was going to continue on to Wisconsin.<br /> <br /> Heaven's Landing is a private flying community on Little Creek Road off Devil's Branch Road northwest of Clayton.<br /> <br /> He said the plane took off in low visibility and clipped the top of a nearby mountain.<br /> <br />
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