Officials release preliminary report on Lake Murray plane crash
GILBERT, S.C. (WIS) - A plane crashed into Lake Murray on the afternoon of January 13. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are now releasing a preliminary report on the crash.
According to the pilot, a preflight inspection was conducted and nothing was observed to be wrong.
“I checked the oil quantity and added one quart of oil,” the pilot told officials.
The pilot took off and about 20 minutes into the flight, at 5,500 feet, he reported seeing a red oil annunciator light illuminate, followed by the oil pressure gauge fall to zero pressure. He said the engine tachometer, defined by Meriam-Webster as a device that measures the speed of rotation, was near the red line and the engine sounded like it was over-speeding, so he reduced the throttle to slow it down.
The pilot radioed air traffic control and reported an emergency, then began to look for a place to land, according to officials. As he got closer to the lake he deployed a parachute system and the plane slowly fell into the water.
Once the wind began to push the plane away from the shoreline, the pilot and passenger dove off the wing and swam to shore.
Officials say the post-accident exam showed significant damage to the fuselage and left elevator. The engine showed a hole on the top of the case near the No. 6 cylinder.
The crash happened around 1:45 p.m. on Lake Murray near the Taylor’s Cove Road area in Gilbert, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
Neither of the adults on board were injured, according to deputies.
Caleb Krick witnessed the event with his brother and sister and said he did see the two individuals walk away from the plane.
“Our jaws just kind of dropped. We didn’t really understand what was happening, and we were like ‘where are the people?’ You know there’s people obviously in there,” Krick said.
He said he believed people in the neighborhood let the couple wait in their home to get warm while deputies investigated the incident.
“They were drenched in water,” Krick said.
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