NTSB preliminary report sheds no new light on crash

MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- A preliminary report on the plane crash that killed two men in McClellanville last week shed no new light on the crash.

According to the preliminary report, the air traffic controller asked the pilot to relay his heading and did not get a response. The wreckage was later found in the Francis Marion National Forest.

Investigators found that the plane hit trees and then the ground, leaving a crash path that was 290 feet long and 40 feet wide, the report states.

The crash killed Patrick Eudy, 44, and Robert Ulrich, 69. NTSB officials said both men in the plane were pilots on an instructional flight.

An incident report from Charleston County Sheriff's Office said a witness heard what sounded like engine trouble, followed by a thud.

A 911 caller also said the plane was making strange noises, adding three others heard the plane crash.

The plane, identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Rockwell International 690B, went down about 40 miles north of Charleston Thursday afternoon. On Friday, the flight agency identified the plane's tail number as N727JA.

According to an NTSB official, no distress signal came from the plane before it went down. He said the plane went down at a 45-degree angle and there was no apparent weather activity that would've interfered with the training flight.

"There were no thunder storms in the area and no cumulus activity that would interfere with what they were going to do on this flight," Hicks said.

Awendaw Fire Department Battalion Chief Fred Tetor said the area where the plane was found was marshy, about knee deep, two miles from the command post near Highway 17.

"There are a couple of big ditches back there. We've had to put some ladders to go from land mass to land mass to get to some of those areas. That was some of the biggest challenges. It's just muddy there," Tetor said.

Chief Tetor said the area is difficult to navigate. They had to bring ladders to get across certain areas. Tetor also told the Associated Press that those at the site could smell fuel.