- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A small airplane collided with a power line pole and unmarked transmission lines before it crashed and burned, killing the pilot and injuring a flight instructor, federal officials say in a newly released report.

A witness saw the plane’s landing gear barely clear a building as it flew toward Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville on Thursday, according to the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Monday.

As the aircraft flew toward power lines, “he observed the airplane pitch up, as if in an attempt to avoid them,” the report states. “A portion of a wing contacted a power line pole, and then the airplane rolled and impacted the ground coming to rest inverted.”

That witness ran to the crash scene, helped get the flight instructor out and tried to rescue the pilot but was unable to do so, the report states.

The plane had taken off from the Gainesville airport about one minute before it crashed in the area, the report states.

Authorities later identified the pilot as 74-year-old Lawrence Youhanaian. They said 50-year-old Kelly Chandler, a Lanier Flight Center instructor, was also seriously hurt.

Chandler was in intensive care and on a respirator after the crash, Lanier Flight Center President Troy Wheeler told The Times of Gainesville. Wheeler says Chandler has been an instructor since 2007 and more people have learned to fly with him than anyone else on the center’s staff.

The NTSB report is preliminary in nature, and a final cause of the crash likely won’t be determined for several weeks or months.

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