According to Porterdale Police Chief Wayne Digby, a call came in from one of the occupants at approximately 2:33 p.m. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Porterdale near the Yellow River in a wooded area referred to as White Horse —deep in the woods across the street from Middle Ridge Elementary School.
Newton County Sheriff’s Department and emergency personnel, along with PPD officials responded to the area, reaching the wreckage at 2:46 p.m. after being directed there by the occupants.
The two men, pilot Jay Daniel Abbott, 44, and 67-year-old passenger John Richard Hamblin, were from Rocky Mountain, Va., and were headed to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport to have navigational equipment worked on and from there were headed to Alaska. According to Digby, the work being done on the navigational equipment had nothing to do with the crash.
Both men were initially transported to Newton Medical Center where they were treated for minor injuries and released.