Small plane crashes in Sumner County; 2 killed

(Photo: WKRN)

PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two people died after a plane crashed at the Portland Municipal Airport in Sumner County Tuesday night.

Officials said the plane took off from Lebanon before it hit a tree on the side of the ride and lost control just before 8 p.m. as it was coming in to the airport just off Highway 52 West.

(Courtesy: Brooke Hunter)

Authorities said both occupants, identified as Harold Mckissack of Hendersonville and Raferal Johnson of Nashville, were thrown from the plane upon impact.

Mckissack, 67, died at the scene. Johnson, 33, was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died just before midnight.

The Federal Aviation Administration identified the plane as a Grumman American AA-1B, saying it went down about 2,000 feet from the runway. The wreckage was removed on Wednesday.

Neighbors describe concerns with planes coming into the Portland airport.

“To me, they come in here too low, too low you know,” said Earl Viers.

“It makes me nervous,” added his wife, Theresa Viers. “Cause I think it could easily hit our house. We’re close, makes me nervous. They just fly, way low over the house.”

The FAA is investigating, and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident. Authorities said there are a number of witnesses and the NTSB is working to meet with them for statements.

The investigation is ongoing. The preliminary report is expected to be complete in about two weeks.