UPDATE: Plane Crashes Near Pickens County Airport
No one seriously injured in crash
UPDATED 8:57pm, Sunday, July 22, 2012:
A parachute on an airplane allowed its occupants to escape serious injury in a plane crash Sunday afternoon.
According to Pickens County Emergency Management Director Chuck Haynes, at 4:45pm Sunday afternoon his agency was notified that a plane inbound to the Pickens County Airport was experiencing trouble.
Fire and rescue squads were then sent out, he said.
“While en route to the airport, the pilot notified the responders that they were going to crash land,” Haynes said.
Though initial reports suggested the occupants themselves had parachuted to safely, the aircraft itself was equipped with a parachute while the occupants were able to use, he said.
“They were able to use that mechanism to safely drop in to the trees,” Haynes said.
The plane crashed in the Liberty area, off of McClanahan Road, off Breazeale Road.
The plane was intact and there was no fire, Haynes said.
Four adults were on board the plane, which was on its way to Greensboro, NC, Haynes said.
Two of the occupants were transported for treatment of minor injuries, while the other two refused treatment, Haynes said.
“The extent of the operation was basically rescuing the individuals from the plane which was in the tree,” he said.
The plane was outbound from somewhere outside Atlanta and was traveling to Greensboro, Haynes said.
“The only reason they were here was that they were utilizing our airport as an emergency landing site,” he said.
Neighbors were essential in helping rescuers find the crash site.
“They know this area better than anyone,” Haynes said. “They were able to direct us in and then once we were in, helped us find a better way out. We truly appreciate that. Most importantly, nobody got hurt. The public was able to guide us in without any issues, and our rescuers were able to conduct the rescue without any issues.”
Multiple agencies responded to the crash, including Emergency Management, Liberty Fire Department, Vineyards Fire Department, Liberty Police Department, the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, Easley Fire Department and Pickens County Rescue Squads 6,7 and 9
“We had to stabilize their airplane so it wouldn't fall out of the tree and cause harm to the occupants onboard,” Haynes said. “Once that plane was stabilized, a mechanism was set up to go ahead and lower them down for medical treatment.
“Any time a plane lands in trees, it's typically not good,” Haynes said. “But the mechanism seems to have worked in this case. Everyone appeared be to somewhat healthy – needing to be checked out, and understandably so. But it certainly could have been far worse.”
A Federal Aviation Administration investigator is due to be on the scene of the crash tomorrow. Check back with Easley Patch for more on this story.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:38pm, Sunday, July 22, 2012:
A plane crashed on its way into the Pickens County Airport this afternoon but all abroad made it out safely.
According to Mac Gravely with the Liberty Fire Department, the plane crash off McClanahan Road, off of Breazeale Road.
“No one was seriously hurt,” Gravely said.
The four people onboard the aircraft either parachuted out or jumped out of the plane after it hit the trees,” Gravely said.
Liberty firefighters received word that a plane was coming in with engine trouble, Gravely said.
“It didn't quite make it,” he said.
Firefighters are in the process of helping the passengers out of the woods now, he said.