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FAA investigating Briscoe plane crash

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of a plane crash on Saturday near Briscoe Field that killed the 50-year-old pilot, a spokeswoman said.

The aircraft, a 1946 Ercoupe, was removed from the scene Sunday and taken to Atlanta Air Salvage in Griffin for further inspection, said Kathleen Bergen, the spokeswoman for the FAA.

Once the FAA completes its investigation, the findings will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board, Bergen said. The NTSB will determine the probable cause of the crash, a process that could take up to a year to complete.

The plane crash happened about 2:10 p.m. Saturday. Bystanders reported the Ercoupe's pilot, Gainesville resident Timothy Blake, had just taken off when the plane tilted to the left and landed in the intersection of Hosea Road and Industrial Park Drive, just outside the perimeter of the Gwinnett County airport. One witness, an aircraft mechanic, told the Daily Post he heard the plane sputtering as it took off.

After landing in the intersection, the plane slid up an grassy embankment and through a chain link fence. Firefighters had to extract Blake from the plane.

Blake, who had extensive injuries, was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville for treatment. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital, authorities announced early Sunday morning.