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No Plane Crash, Authorities Say

Posted By:
Fareed Guyot
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#1 Posted: 5/6/2010 01:48:22

The general public's unfamiliarity with normal aviation activities can sometimes lead to some wild conclusions as reported by Joe Perry of TheItem.com :





A plane did not crash in Sumter County today, authorities said, despite initial reports indicating such an incident might have occurred.

A small, yellow airplane was doing "touch and goes," or quick takeoffs and landings, on several private air strips in the area earlier this afternoon. During one of those landings, coincidentally, a school bus on Oswego Highway blew a tire, which caused a loud noise, authorities said.

Some who heard that noise thought it was an explosion and, coupled with reports of a plane that was seen descending, led many to believe a plane had crashed.

A search of the area by two F-16s and a Life Net helicopter didn't turn up a crash site. The yellow plane was accounted for; it is at Sumter Airport, according to authorities.



First responders from Sumter County are searching for wreckage from a possible plane crash, which reportedly happened before 2 p.m. today.

So far, authorities have not been able to get visual confirmation of the plane crash. However, 14-year-old Christopher Underwood, of the 3000 block of Oswego Highway, told The Item that he saw a small, private airplane flying, start moving side to side with the wings going left and right, and then it "started to go down real fast" and "went down real hard."

Mary Thompson, 26, who lives in the 3000 block of Oswego Highway, said she was preparing her 1-year-old twins Nick and Zack for a nap when "all of a sudden, I heard a big boom." She said she did not hear a plane engine and she at first thought the sound might have been a transformer exploding.

First responders are searching in fields and woods off the 3000 block of Oswego Highway, north of Sumter.

They have called for a Life Net helicopter and a helicopter from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in lower Richland County to help in the search and to be available should any injured people be found.

Check back with TheItem.com for updates on this developing story.

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