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Pilot in crash identified
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Local authorities on Wednesday released the name of the pilot killed in a plane crash in Dawson County Monday night.

Dawson County Sheriff's Office Maj. Tony Wooten said medical records confirmed the pilot's name was John Culbertson Jr. of Atlanta.

Culbertson, 62, was a plastic surgeon at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta.

"Dr. Culbertson was a remarkable Emory physician for more than 25 years and served as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown," according to a statement on the hospital's website. "He was a member of multiple national societies, contributing to numerous publications and textbooks, and lectured nationally and internationally."

Culbertson's Piper Malibu PA-46 departed from Morristown, N.J. and was headed to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee, near Atlanta on Monday. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight at approximately 7:15 p.m.

Wreckage from the single-engine plane crash covered more than 1,000 yards, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Prior to the fatal crash near Auraria Road in southeastern Dawson County at 7:15 p.m., the single-engine plane with seating for up to seven, hit several trees before coming to a final resting spot in a heavily wooded area near Auraria Road, NTSB Air Safety Investigator Heidi Moats said.

Moats said they are in process of gathering facts and evidence to investigate the cause of the accident. A preliminary report of the findings will be made available next week. It could take up to a year to complete the investigation.

She did say NTSB has collected all parts of the plane and will reconstruct it to help determine the cause for the crash.

See the Dec. 11 edition of the Dawson News & Advertiser for more information on the crash.