DAWSONVILLE, Ga. - An airplane made a crash landing at Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, according to the FAA. The aircraft is a Piper P32R-300.
“Experienced some mechanical issues in flight. Stated that the cockpit filled up with smoke and so basically he was looking for a place to land,” said Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield, Dawson County Emergency Services.
The crash occurred around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. The aircraft departed from Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, Georgia and was going to the Gary/Chicago International Airport in Gary, Indiana.
“He saw this area with a lot of asphalt and he tried to put it down there and had a crash landing,” the deputy chief said.
The pilot was the only person on board, and the plane was having a mechanical issue that led to the emergency landing, according to Satterfield.
“The pilot did self-extricate himself we transported him via helicopter to Northeast Georgia Medical Center,” said Satterfield.
The pilot was flown to the hospital in serious but stable condition, according to officials.
Satterfield said the plane came to rest on the Go-Kart track. No one on the ground was injured. Satterfield credits luck and pilot skill knowing the crash could’ve been a lot worse.
“Oh, yes! A lot worse especially with the rural area too. If he had gotten into the woods or a mountainous area, it could’ve been a lot worse,” said Satterfield.
The plane can hold up to seven passengers.