Reprinted from ksla.com. By Jennifer Lifsey and Elizabeth Rawlins.
A small general aviation aircraft crashed at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport Wednesday morning.
According to airport officials, the small plane, identified as a Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. with tail number N978AF, was departing Savannah en route to Lexington, KY, when it began to experience problems during takeoff. The pilot turned around in the air and was attempting to land when the plane skidded in the grass and crashed into a ditch near the runway around 8:30 a.m.
The aircraft is registered to Upper Deck Holdings Inc. of Portsmouth, NH.
The airport spokesperson explains that the Federal Aviation Administration will take over moving forward.
“We handle the rescue, and then the federal officials take over; NTSB in our area, that’s usually handled by the FAA, and so once they get on the scene, that probably shouldn’t take long, then we have to wait for their approval to remove the plane,” said Lori Lynah, Director of Marketing, Savannah Airport Commission, Airport Spokesperson.
It’s unclear what may have caused the plane to crash, but we were able to track down the air traffic radio communication right after the crash. We could hear them say they closed the runways. But, as you can imagine – in this type of situation – there was a lot of chatter. Even officials had trouble understanding what was going on.
Dispatcher: “Slow down just a little bit. Do we have anybody still in the airplane, do we have survivors?”
The two men on board the plane were taken to Memorial University Medical Center by ambulance. There is no word on their conditions just yet, but EMS did confirm that there were injuries involved.
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