Feds release report on deadly South Carolina plane crash
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – Federal regulators have released a preliminary report on a plane crash at a South Carolina airport that left two people dead.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s report Friday states the braking anti-skid switch was inoperative on the Dassault Falcon 50 that barreled off the end of a runway and split in two at Greenville Downtown Airport on Sept. 27, The Greenville News reported .
A placard that read “INOP” was placed by the switch the day of the crash. According to the report, the parking brake was also in the off position and the fire handles had been pulled.
The report provides the NTSB’s initial findings, but is not conclusive and does not provide a cause of the crash.
Local authorities said at the time of the crash that one of the pilots had become unconscious and pushed against the plane’s throttle, causing the engines to run even after it had come to a halt on the ground below the runway. The report states all three engines were operating at full power for 20 minutes after the crash and one engine remained running about 40 minutes after the crash.
Initially, the plane touched down “normally” and the thrust reverser was deployed, the report said.
The report also details the certifications for both the pilot and co-pilot, which don’t match the requirements for flying the aircraft, which The Greenville News earlier reported.
The pilot, identified in previous news reports as John Christian Caswell, had only second-in-command privileges to fly that jet. That means he could fly it only as a co-pilot, next to someone with a pilot-in-command rating, the NTSB report confirms. The NTSB report doesn’t identify either pilot.
The right seat pilot on the flight, identified as Stephen George Fox by the Greenville County Coroner’s Office, held a private pilot certificate, the NTSB report states, meaning he too lacked the FAA-required certification to fly as the co-pilot on the flight.
The jet came from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida and was destined for Greenville Downtown Airport.
Marci Wilhelm, the CEO of MedPartners and her husband, Steve Rose, were the passengers in the plane and are recovering from their injuries, according to a statement from AMN Healthcare President and CEO Susan Salka.
The preliminary report is a compilation of the factual observations investigators found at the scene, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.
“There is no finding,” he said.
A full factual report typically takes 12 to 18 months to complete.