Lincolnton community in shock after young pilot’s death

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — The Lincolnton community is rallying together following the death of Cole Mattison. The 24-year-old pilot was flying home from work when his plane crashed in an embankment near White Rock Road.

“He was such a young guy,” Ignacio Martinez said. “It’s crazy to believe he passed away like that. He was such a great kid.”

A neighbor tells NewsChannel 6 he saw the plane in the air before it crashed, saying it was flying erratically moments before it went down.

Mattison grew up in Lincolnton and graduated from the Unviersity of Georgia with a degree in civil engineering in May.

Cole Mattison and his sister.

“Everyone loved him,” Britt McKinney, Mattison’s aunt, said. “He was everybody’s friend.”

Mattison wanted to be a pilot since he began watching air shows as a little boy. When he grew up, he made his dreams a reality.

“He decided he wanted to get his pilot’s license,” McKinney said. “A couple years ago, he bought a plane and has been flying all over.”

Mattison’s family says they hope something positive can come out of this tragedy.

“We just pray somebody learns from this situation and lives life to the fullest like he did because he went nonstop,” McKinney said.


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