Savannah – More information has come out on the Pilatus PC-12 incident at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) that I posted about this morning. It has been confirmed that it was a Pilatus PC-12, N978AF registered to Upper Decks Holdings, Inc. in Portsmouth NH. Apparently the aircraft experienced a problem during takeoff as it departed Savannah for Lexington, KY. The pilot turned around and while trying to land back at SAV (assuming Runway 10/28), went into the grass, and crashed into a ditch next to Taxiway F between the runway and the terminal where it caught on fire. WJCL had a description of what happened from a witness: “It was trying to land but it couldn’t. It started to shake. It went to the side of the runway and as soon as it hit you started to see the flames come out and everything,” Based on the photos I’ve seen and the news articles, the aircraft ended up in the area of the red circle on the airport diagram below. Two persons were on board and were transported to Memorial Hospital in Savannah; based on what I heard while listening to the incident, the injuries did not sound life threatening, both were able to exit the plane and based on reports “run away” from the aircraft. It definitely sounds like things could have gone far worse than they did.
Photos and video from WTOC, WSAV, and the Savannah Morning News appear to show the aircraft intact, although with considerable nose damage. WTOC’s video also shows a crane being used to begin lifting the aircraft out of the ditch (a 2nd report from WTOC states it will be left where it is for the time being). According to Aviation Safety News, the aircraft is a write-off. NTSB investigators from Atlanta arrived later in the day and the investigation is ongoing. I’ll try to keep with things as I hear about them and post an update when they issue updates and reports.
- Savannah-Hilton Head Airport Press Release
- Aviation Safety Network Wikibase Occurrence #183166
- Savannah/Hilton Head Airport reports small plane crash – Savannah Morning News
- Witness describes what he saw as small plane crashed at Savannah/Hilton Head Airport – WJCL
- Latest on plane crash at Savannah / Hilton Head Airport – WSAV
- FAA Investigating after small plane crash at Savannah-Hilton Head Int’l Airport – WTOC