Don Edens, 44, Of Lake City, Tn., Was Pilot Who Died In Collegedale Plane Crash

Friday, September 5, 2014

Don Edens, 44, of Lake City, Tn., was the pilot who died in a small plane crash at Collegedale on Wednesday afternoon.

Before he went down, he radioed the Chattanooga Airport that he was having mechanical trouble and having difficulty seeing out his windshield, Collegedale Police said.

He said he had oil all over his windshield and was not going to make it to the Chattanooga Airport.

The pilot was then directed toward the Collegedale Airport and was headed straight for it. He was told he was only three miles away.

The pilot said, "I'm not going to make it."

He was flying on a route from Knoxville to Jackson, Miss.

Collegedale Police said there were no other occupants.

Hamilton County emergency responders were called to 9534 Ooltewah Industrial Dr. after the plane went down in a grassy field at 3:20 p.m.

The location is about a quarter mile from the junction of Lee Highway and Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. It is off the old Ooltewah Main Street.

Several people saw the plane flying low and then go down, including some at nearby fast food restaurants.

The Lancair IV-P single-engine plane is owned by Empire Equipment of Knoxville.

The crash site has now been cleaned up and the wreckage removed.

Mr. Edens had been in the construction business since 2001 and was with Empire Equipment for seven and a half years.

Inspectors said the plane was an experimental one built from a kit.

He leaves behind a wife and four children.

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