Last week the National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report on the April 4 crash of a private airplane in Centre. The pilot, Harley McGatha, died early the next morning from his injuries. McGatha’s Champion 7HC took off from the Centre Municipal Airport, climbed to about 40-50 feet then made a hard left bank. It flew between trees, climbed briefly and stalled into a house. The plane caught fire after the collision. Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane traveled approximately 1,000 feet down the runway before becoming airborne and colliding with the house adjacent to the runway. The right rudder pedal was missing the cable attachment bolt, nut and cotter pin. The examination of the engine and accessory components by the FAA inspector revealed no evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction. An active community citizen, McGatha helped secure funding for Centre’s new airport. His construction firm built the South Rome Boys and Girls Club last year, and McGatha donated $100,000 of his own money to the project.