A Columbus man was killed Sunday evening when his homemade aircraft crashed just off a runway at the Columbus Metropolitan Airport.
Gerald M. Edmonds, 63, of Columbus was pronounced dead at the scene, Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower said.
The two-seat plane was taking off shortly after 6 p.m. It hit a maintenance hanger that was about 50 yards from the runway, said Columbus Police Lt. Charles Kennedy.
“It appeared to be making a banking turn,” Kennedy said. “It inverted and struck the hanger. It pretty much disintegrated.”
The plane, a Veri-Eze built in 1994, was making touch-and-go landings at the time of the crash, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be in Columbus Monday afternoon to investigate the crash, said Airport Police Chief Jeffrey Wright.
It is believed to be the first plane crash at the Columbus Airport in more than three decades, said Wright. He has been chief for 15 years. There was a small plane crash in the mid-1970s without fatalities.