PICKENS COUNTY—According to a recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the pilot in a late July plane crash near Pickens County saw nothing wrong with his aircraft upon takeoff.
Four people, including the pilot, came out of that crash uninjured as a result of a parachute that allowed the plane to crash harmlessly in a slew of nearby trees.
“According to the pilot, he fueled the aircraft “to the tabs” and performed a pre-flight and run-up inspection prior to takeoff from RYY. No abnormalities were noted during the inspections,” stated the report from the NTSB.
Shortly after takeoff, however, things began to take a turn for the worse.
“A few minutes later, the pilot felt a “wiggle,” or a slight vibration from the engine, as the airplane continued to climb. The engine RPMs began to rise rapidly and he noted an engine oil pressure warning on the primary flight display (PFD),” the report said.
The air traffic controller informed the pilot that the Pickens County Airport was near, and they began to plan for an emergency landing.
“He believed he had plenty of airspeed and altitude, when he turned base at 1,200 feet, and added one notch of flaps,” said the report. “As the pilot added the flaps, he felt the handling characteristics of the airplane change, and it began to feel “mushy.”
This required the pilot to take extreme measures.
“As the airplane descended through 1,000 feet, the pilot felt as if he had “lost control of the airplane” and decided to pull the emergency parachute. The parachute deployed and within seconds the airplane settled into the trees,” the report stated. “The airplane remained suspended in the trees until emergency personnel arrived on-scene and rescued the occupants.”
Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed the presence of oil on the underside of the airplane.
An examination of the engine was planned for a later date after the airplane was recovered from the trees.