MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A plane that crashed near Rivertown Country Club in Mount Pleasant was being repossessed when it made an emergency landing Thursday afternoon, according to sources.
The Charleston County Aviation Authority says the small private aircraft went down in the marsh around 2:04 p.m.Thursday. Two people were on board and both were found safe and uninjured. They were transported by boat from the scene by the Charleston County Rescue Squad and Charleston County Sheriff's Office.
The flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. didn't go as planned, but no one was hurt because the pilot, Terry Huenefeld, was able to land the plane safely.
Huenefeld had radioed he was going to make an emergency landing at Charleston International Airport, but then said he wasn't going to make it and hoped to land at Mount Pleasant Regional Airport.
Huenefeld instead made an emergency landing in the marsh southwest of the airport near Rivertowne Subdivision, according to Mount Pleasant police.
"We had a couple hiccups over the coast, so we figured we'd inch our way to Charleston and make it in there no problem."
That plan began to fall apart when the plane's engines cut off and it began losing altitude. At a speed of 120 miles per hour, Huenefeld made a decision to land in the marsh.
"It was probably about halfway from the shoreline inbound and I knew that we weren't going to make the field," Huenefield said. "You don't really get too scared because you're busy trying to figure out what to do."
An aerial photo shows the 1981 Piper Aerostar 600 plane in the middle of the marsh with the plane's emergency landing path visible on the ground behind it. The plane is registered out of Kittyhawk, NC, but took off from Myrtle Beach.
"We went under the powerlines and sat it down," Huenefield said.
Huenefeld said that nearby power lines didn't prove to be much of an obstacle for him when he made the landing.
"I knew the power lines were there. I could see them pretty far out," Huenefield said. "I was ready for them and I ducked right under them."
The two waited on the wing of the plane for the Charleston County rescue boats to bring them to safety.
The FAA is still investigating the exact cause of the plane's malfunction.