Investigators comb through plane crash wreckage at General Mills plant in Covington

Investigators spent Friday at the General Mills plant in Covington combing through the wreckage of a deadly plane crash that happened the previous evening.

A twin-engine Cessna crashed into several semi trailers at remote part of the cereal plant on Thursday evening killing two people, the Covington Police Department said.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating along with local agencies.

Where is the plane crash site located?

The plant located at 15200 Industrial Park Blvd. NE. It is about eight-tenths of a mile southeast of the eastern edge of the runway at Covington Municipal Airport.

The plane went down in a remote section of the plant's property where empty trailers are stored about 300 feet away from the building itself.

Covington is located about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta.

What witnesses told investigators about the crash at the General Mills plant

Captain Ken Malcom with the Covington Police Department said around 6:46 p.m. a twin-engine Cessna appeared to start having engine trouble. Witnesses told police it traveled northeast, but appeared to be having trouble gaining altitude and was making unusual engine noises. Malcom said the plane then veered right and came straight down.

Police said the plane appeared to explode on impact. Witnesses said there were a series of small explosions after the crash. About six trailers that were parked together and believed to be mostly empty caught fire and were damaged after the crash. 

A massive dark plume of smoke could be seen rise above the Georgia city

What caused Thursday's plane crash at the plant?

Federal investigators will be looking at a number of factors when trying to determine the cause of Thursday's crash.

The weather was nice and mostly clear that night, according to the FOX 5 Storm Team, but winds, turbulence, or temperature changes may have played a factor.

Another factor investigators will look at is the human factor. Investigators said the owner of the aircraft was being trained by a pilot trainer at the time of the crash. They were performing touch-and-go exercises. 

NTSB and FAA officials will also look at the air traffic in the area at the time.

And with a number of witnesses telling investigators they heard what they thought was engine trouble coming from the plane, investigators will also be investigating the aircraft itself.

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Officials say a plane crashed into the General Mills plant in Covington, Georgia on April 21, 2022. (Chris McSwain)

What type of plane crashed in Covington?

The FAA said the plane that crashed Thursday was a 1973 Cessna 340 fixed-wing multi-engine plane.

The plane has a twin piston engine and has the ability to be pressurized which makes it used mostly for businesses.

The plane can sit up to six people accommodating four passenger seats. There is an isle and built-in stairs.

The aircraft is just over 34 feet long and well over 12 feet tall. It measures an inch over 38 feet from wingtip to wingtip.

The plane weighs just under 4,000 pounds empty with a maximum takeoff weight of just under 6,000 pounds.

The Cessna 340 has a maximum speed of 244 knots with a stall speed of 84 knots.

It has range of about 1,400 nautical miles and can climb to just under 30,000 feet at a rate of 1,650 feet per minute.

Who was aboard the Cessna that crashed?

Local authorities have not yet released the names of the two people killed on the plane.

The names are expected to be released in the next few days.

Who owned the plane that crashed at the plant?

The plane is registered to Nixon Enterprises, Inc. It is a general contractor based out of Portales, New Mexico.

According to their Facebook page, the company specializes in "metal buildings, metal roofs, concrete, foam insulation, demolition, sheet metal shop, garage doors, welding fabrication, houses, apartments, commercial, residential, and industrial construction."

The company also has ties to Plano, Texas and Cumming, Georgia.

How long will the plane crash investigation take?

The FAA has already released a preliminary accident report. 

Firefighters were working with federal investigators on Friday to separate pieces of the aircraft from the tangled metal of the trailers it crashed into. Those parts will then be examines and even reconstructed as best as possible to help investigators.

The NTSB should release preliminary findings in about two weeks, but the complete investigation report shouldn't be done until 12 to 24 months.