MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states the pilot who was training a 20-year-old Johns Island resident when their plane crashed at the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport last month was not a certified flight instructor.
A single-engine Cessna 150 crashed during a training flight into a marsh about 200 yards from the airport on August 14, killing 20-year-old Matthew Gaither of Johns Island and his flight instructor, 33-year-old Graham Borland of North Charleston.
According to Federal Aviation Administration Records examined during NTSB's investigation into the accident, Borland held a commercial pilot certificate, but did not have a flight instructor certificate.
In the preliminary report, witnesses say the airplane "immediately looked unstable" after its liftoff, and crashed shortly after.
"When the airplane reached an altitude about 100 feet above ground level, it entered a continuous left turn and subsequently rolled wings level on a westerly heading," according to witness testimony in the NTSB preliminary report. "The airplane then entered a nose down attitude followed by a right wing low attitude and was in a 'straight downward dive' when it impacted the ground."
All major components of the aircraft were accounted for at the accident site, the report continues.
The planes owner, Clark Hanger, confirmed to officials the plane was being used for a training flight at the time of the crash.
NTSB will continue to investigate the fatal crash.