3 Fatalities reported after Cartersville-based aircraft goes down in California

May 12th, 2023 – 1:35 PM

Phoenix Air Group Press Release –

(Phoenix Air Group)

The following is a press release from Phoenix Air Group:

“On Wednesday, May 10, at approximately 7:40 a.m. (Pacific Time) a Learjet 36 aircraft owned and operated by Phoenix Air Group, Inc. of Cartersville, GA with a flight crew of three employees onboard, went down in the waters approximately one mile from San Clemente Island off the coast of California.

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and other elements immediately conducted search operations and located a debris field in the water. After a search lasting some 24 hours, the Coast Guard today declared there were no survivors.

The entire Phoenix Air Family grieves over this loss of our friends and fellow employees:

  • Captain Eric Tatman of Marietta, GA
  • 1st Officer Spencer Geerlings of Newnan, GA
  • Systems Specialist Shane Garner of Taylorsville, GA

Recovery efforts are underway. The entire Phoenix Air Family is supporting our fallen colleagues’ families.

Two Phoenix Air-owned and operated Learjet aircraft were participating in a U.S. Navy training exercise at the time of the incident. The other aircraft landed safely. Both aircraft were flying in a military-restricted area as part of a carefully planned series of flight profiles supporting U.S. Navy fleet preparedness. Phoenix Air has been a contracted air operator for the U.S. Navy and other Department of Defense elements performing readiness training for over 20 years.

The FAA, NTSB, and DOD are conducting investigations, and Phoenix Air is fully cooperating and participating in these investigations. There were no other employees or aircraft involved in the single aircraft incident.”

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