NTSB: Pilot reported problem before fatal crash into freeway

An investigator looks at the wreckage of a plane that crashed on Interstate 285, Friday, May 8, 2015, in Doraville, Ga. A small passenger airplane crashed into an Atlanta interstate Friday, killing all four people aboard and starting an intense fire on the busy road, authorities said. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
An investigator looks at the wreckage of a plane that crashed on Interstate 285, Friday, May 8, 2015, in Doraville, Ga. A small passenger airplane crashed into an Atlanta interstate Friday, killing all four people aboard and starting an intense fire on the busy road, authorities said. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA (AP) – Federal authorities say the pilot of a small plane radioed air traffic controllers, saying he was struggling to gain altitude seconds before slamming into a metro Atlanta freeway, killing all four onboard.

A preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot’s last radio transmissions came about two minutes after departure from DeKalb Peachtree Airport shortly after 10 a.m. on May 8.

The report quotes the pilot saying “I’m having some problem climbing here” and that “we’re going down here at the intersection.”

The NTSB says it found pavement scars across four lanes of busy Interstate 285, ending at a concrete highway divider where the wreckage was found.

Authorities said all four people onboard died in the crash of the Piper PA-32 bound for Oxford, Mississippi.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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