911 calls may help investigators solve inflatable boat crash

DEWEE'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Frantic calls to 911 of the crash and explosion of a Flying Inflatable Boat offshore Dewee's Island may help investigators find out the cause of the fatal crash that killed 40-year-old Lucas Smith and 27-year-old Cara Donohue.

"It fell hundreds of feet... thousands of feet," says one caller.

Three separate calls, all watching the same tragic incident unfold, recounted the events of the crash just minutes after it happened.

"He fell from straight out of the sky," says another woman.

The FAA says these calls may help investigators piece together the cause of the crash by listening to the last few minutes of the flight recounted by people on shore.

"He was way up in the sky," describes a caller. "Almost where an airplane flying a banner - almost that height... Then it started pitching... straight nose up, straight nose down... and you can tell he was struggling to control it and he just... crashed directly into the ocean and there was an explosion... We were saying I don't know how he could fly in this wind... the wind is so strong."

Two callers referred to the strong winds off Dewee's Inlet at the time of the crash.

Andrea Peterson, an a owner of a similar flying inflatable boat from Myrtle Beach says high winds are one thing you don't mess with if you're flying a FIB.

"You know the wind can completely control you're ability to control the aircraft," says Peterson. "It's considered a low to no wind aircraft and you shouldn't be flying it in heavy winds at all. It's just impossible."

The FAA still has not issued a cause of the crash. However, they say as soon as they finish their investigation, they will deliver their findings to the National Transportation Safety Board which will release the information to the public.

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