Plane burns after colliding with deer during landing in the Upstate


GREENWOOD, SC (WYFF) - A deer ran into the path of a plane that was landing, causing the plane to catch fire at the Greenwood County Airport late Saturday morning.

Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis said that the collision with the deer happened at about  11:30 a.m.

"Early into the landing, the deer ran across the runway," Davis said.  "The pilot said he felt a bump, looked behind and saw the plane on fire."

Greenwood County Volunteer Fire Chief Woody Owensby said the pilot and a passenger escaped without injury.  The deer was killed.

Davis could not identify the type of plane or where it came from, but said that it carried sophisticated surveillance equipment that can be used in a variety of operations -- including border control and marijuana eradication operations.

"It's a big loss," Davis said.  "You can just see a big pile of ash where a plane once sat.  I'm told it had a full tank of fuel and every bit of it was burned up."

Davis said the plane traveled several hundred yards after bursting into flames.

After coming to a stop, Davis said the people on board exited quickly.

"They're very lucky," Davis said.

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