4 private jet crash fatalities included Fayetteville, Senoia men

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Shutterstock photo of a typical small Cessna Citation jet aircraft.
Shutterstock photo of a typical small Cessna Citation jet aircraft.

Former Falcon Aviation Academy President and CEO Raymond Sluk and Fayetteville resident Roy Smith were two of the four people who lost their lives on Feb. 8, when the Cessna 501 Citation jet piloted by the two men crashed in a remote area of Gordon County north of Atlanta after departing Falcon Field in Peachtree City.

The Gordon County Coroner’s Office on Feb. 11 confirmed the identities of the crash victims, which included pilot Roy Smith, 68, of Fayetteville, 63-year-old co-pilot and Senoia resident Raymond Sluk, Smith’s 25-year-old son Morgen Smith, of Atlanta, and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Savannah Sims, also of Atlanta, according to multiple new sources.

Sluk had previously retired as Vic President of FedEx and, more recently, retired as President/CEO of Falcon Aviation Academy, with facilities in Peachtree City and Newnan.

A Feb. 9 press conference pertaining to the Feb. 8 crash of a Cessna 501 Citation in an isolated area in Gordon County after departing Falcon Field initially revealed that three adult males and one adult female died in the crash. Weather that day included snow showers and instrument-rated flight conditions.

According to Aviation-safety.net, the Cessna 501 Citation I/SP crashed in a remote wooded area near Fairmount, Georgia.

The flight departed Atlanta-Peachtree City Falcon Field, Georgia, USA, at 09:49 local time, bound for Nashville.

An air traffic control transmission captured by LiveATC.net contains a radio call from “one romeo gulf” reporting problems with the left hand attitude indicator. The autopilot was disconnected and the aircraft was then flown manually from the right-hand seat.

According to registry.ffa.gov, the jet is registered to Remonia Air LLC, of Kennesaw and is described as a fixed wing multi-engine-turbo fan aircraft.

Gordon County Deputy Coroner Christy Nicholson at the Feb. 9 press conference said the crash site was located at 1:12 p.m. on Saturday, with four adult victims located on Sunday.

Also at the press conference, National Transportation Safety Board Air Safety Investigator Heidi Kemner said the plane, with registration number N501RG, had been in route to Nashville, Tenn.

Kemner said the Cessna came to rest upside down in a creek, adding that there was no evidence of a fire.

Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston in the afternoon hours of Feb. 8 said the wreckage had been located in a remote, treacherous area in eastern Gordon County, according to news reports.

Ralston said the crash site was three miles off any main road. Ralston said some private citizens found the crash site while they were looking for it on ATVs, according to wsbtv.com.

“The plane was discovered in one of the most remote areas of our jurisdiction,” wsbtv.com said, quoting Deputy Chief Robert Paris, who called the crash site treacherous to get to. “We had to go in ion four-wheel drive vehicles and ATVs and we had to walk a long way after that. It’s only accessible by foot.”