GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - The National Transportation Safety Board is set to begin their investigation after a 79-year-old pilot died Monday during a plane crash near the Georgetown airport.
The NTSB arrived Tuesday morning to begin their investigation into the crash.
Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson said 79-year-old John Prince Harris was the pilot and only person on board the Folland Aircraft Gnat T-1.
Johnson said Harris was flying in from Charleston, West Virginia to visit his wife and other family members who were already in the Georgetown County area.
Harris owns a home in the area, and has regularly landed at the Georgetown airport, Johnson added.
Johnson described the plane as a decommissioned military aircraft. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane is an experimental fixed-wing single-engine aircraft.
The plane, manufactured in 1963, is registered to a company based in Wilmington, Delaware. The company is called Foogair Inc., according to the FAA. We reached out to the company, but they would not comment.
Johnson said crews located the wreckage shortly after the airplane went down around 1 p.m. in a wooded area just south of the Georgetown airport, about 100 yards off Highway 17. When crews arrived on scene, they found the wreckage burning. Some of the flames spread to nearby brush, but were extinguished quickly.
"It could have been closer you know. Because when the plane did crash you could feel the vibration from the crash and the explosion," said Ray Moore who was at home when the plane went down near his backyard.
Johnson said he believes Harris died on impact. An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.