Pilot dies after aircraft crashes in marsh
From wire reports www.sunnews.com
The pilot of a single-engine aircraft bound from Florida told air-traffic control he had the East Cooper Regional Airport in sight just moments before the plane crashed and burst into flames before coming to rest in a marsh near the runway, the FAA said Monday.
It was the last contact airport officials had with the pilot. He was pronounced dead at the scene after firefighters and rescue workers battled flames and swamp-like conditions to gain access to the charred plane. The plane is designed to hold up to eight people, but no one else was on board.
Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said her office was still working to confirm the pilot’s identity late Monday.
The plane took off from Merritt Island, Fla., about noon, destined for Mount Pleasant on an instrumental flight plan, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.
Mount Pleasant Fire Battalion Chief James Johnston said the call came in at 2:02 p.m. Firefighters, unable to reach the crash site by foot, used watercraft to reach it. Upon arrival, firefighters battled flames from two fires: one on the plane and in the surrounding trees and brush. Both fires were under control in about 15 minutes, he said.
Smoke still rose from the site hours after the crash. “It’s been consumed by fire,” FAA Inspector Steven Petrossian said at the scene.
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