Lake Murray SC plane crash investigators’ report


A small plane deployed a parachute when it crashed into Lake Murray in western Lexington County on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

Courtesy of Caleb Krick

A federal investigation sheds more light on how a small plane crashed into Lake Murray earlier this month.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its report on the Jan. 13 incident where a small plane crashed into the lake near the Gilbert area of ​​Lexington County, startling lakeside residents and dispatching first responders struggle.

The NTSB has launched the investigation to determine what caused the Cirrus SR22 to deploy an emergency parachute and splash down near the shore of Lake Murray. Such investigations are common after a plane crash.

The pilot, who exited the plane unharmed, reported flying to Charleston shortly after 1 p.m. when warning signals began to sound in the cockpit. The plane was 5,500 feet above the ground when the pilot reported that his oil pressure gauge had dropped to zero and the engine began to feel like it was overspeeding, according to the report. investigation.

The pilot reduced the throttle and began to search for a place to land above the lake. As the Cirrus neared shore, the pilot deployed the aircraft’s emergency parachute system at 2,000 feet and slowly lowered the aircraft into the water. He reported that the plane floated for a few minutes before the wind began to blow it away from shore near Taylors Cove, so the pilot and a passenger dived from the plane’s wing and swam to to the shore.

The pilot said he carried out a pre-flight inspection of the plane and found nothing wrong and added a liter of oil before takeoff, investigators said. A subsequent inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration noted “substantial damage” to the aircraft’s fuselage and left elevator. The inspector also found a hole in the top of the engine housing.

The wreckage was recovered from Lake Murray and retained by the NTSB for further examination.

Bristow Marchant covers local government, schools and the Lexington County community for the state. He graduated from the College of Charleston in 2007. He has over 10 years of experience covering South Carolina at the Clinton Chronicle, Sumter Item and Rock Hill Herald. He joined The State in 2016. Bristow won the 2015 SC Press Association Award for Best Series and was part of The State’s award-winning 2016 election coverage.
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