Narrative:A Cessna 525 CitationJet, N111LR and a Cessna 172N, N737WD, collided in flight over a residential area in Marietta, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot of the 172, the pilot of the CitationJet, and the three passengers in the CitationJet, were all fatally injured. Both airplanes were destroyed. The CitationJet departed from the Atlanta-DeKalb Peachtree Airport, GA (PDK) about 10:30, with an instrument flight plan to Harrisburg International Airport, PA (MDT). According to radar data, the 172 departed Mathis Airfield, near Cumming, Georgia, about 10:25. A flight plan was not filed for the 172 flight, reported as a flight to inspect power lines for Georgia Power Co.
After takeoff, the CitationJet was initially assigned 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and a heading of 280 degrees by Atlanta Terminal Radar Control (TRACON). Subsequently, it was assigned a heading of 360 degrees and cleared to climb to 14,000 feet msl. According to radar data the CitationJet had vacated 3,000 feet msl and was at 3,400 feet msl, at 10:34, when a primary target merged with the radar target of the CitationJet.
The CitationJet came to rest inverted in the rear of a residence at 1922 Fields Pond Glen, Marietta, Georgia. The 172 was observed to collide with trees and come to rest inverted in a residential yard at 5125 Timber Ridge Road, Marietta, Georgia.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of both pilots to see and avoid conflicting traffic, and the failure of the 172 pilot to operate the transponder as required by current regulations. Factors were the controller's failure to observe the traffic conflict, the lack of radar conflict alert capability, and the training emphasis on maximum autopilot usage with the autopilot controller placed at the rear of the cockpit center mounted pedestal. "
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Atlanta-DeKalb Peachtree Airport, GA to Harrisburg International Airport, PA as the crow flies is 963 km (602 miles).