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Cessna plane flips at Waycross airport

Pilot not injured, passenger suffered laceration

WAYCROSS, Ga. – A single engine Cessna plane overturned at the Waycross airport Tuesday afternoon after the pilot confused the taxiway with the runway, according to Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.

A 911 call came in around 3 p.m. about a 1968 Cessna 182 that flipped at the airport in Ware County.

Preliminary investigation indicated the pilot, Debasish Banerjee, of Sylva, NC, was attempting to take off from the taxiway, believing it was the runway.  He was confused about the airport's layout, according to Sheriff Royal.

After the pilot committed to takeoff from the taxiway, he realized he was running out of space.  He swerved the aircraft into a softer field and traveled approximately 60 feet before the front nose landing gear dug into the ground and caused the aircraft to flip, Sheriff Royal said.

Banerjee was not injured.

His passenger, Bob Genes, 83, suffered a small laceration to his forehead and was treated by Ware County EMS.  Genes is also a licensed pilot from Sylva, NC.

The plane originally departed from Franklin, NC.  Its final destination was LaBelle, FL, which is just east of Fort Myers.

The plane just refueled with 80 gallons of fuel and there was no leakage or fire at the Waycross airport after the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will head to the Waycross airport on Wednesday to conduct a follow-up investigation.