75-year-old pilot identified after deadly helicopter crash in Hall County field

Officials have released the name of the 75-year-old pilot who was killed in a gyrocopter last weekend.

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The Hall County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot as Franklin Preiss.

News Drone 2 flew over the scene off Clarks Bridge Road, north of Glade Farm Road in Hall County when the crash happened Saturday.


Police told Channel 2 Action News that Preiss was from Gainesville. He died when his ‘ultra light’ aircraft went down in a hay field on private property.

An official with the National Transportation Safety Board told Channel 2 Action News the helicopter crashed during a local flight shortly after hitting powerlines.

The NTSB and the FAA are still actively investigating the crash.

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