BEAUFORT, NC (WNCT) – A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board shows that a plane that crashed off the coast of Carreret County with eight people on board did not signal disaster before the crash.
The report states that the Pilatus PC-12 was destroyed in a crash off the coast of Carreret County, about three miles from Drama Bay. He left Pete Greenville Airport on Feb. 13 at 12:35 p.m. and landed at Hyde County Airport at 12:55 p.m. From there it took off around 13:35 before crashing shortly after 14:00.
Six of the eight people on the plane were returning from a hunt in Hyde County, the Carreret County Sheriff’s Office said the day after the crash.
The report said that pilot Ernest Durwood Rawls contacted the air traffic control service and showed that everything was fine, as the plane was leveled at an altitude of 3,500 feet on its way to Michael J. Airport. Smith Field in Beaufort. The pilot was later informed of the approach to limited airspace.
“After several unanswered calls from the pilot, the dispatcher instructed the military aircraft in the limited airspace to stay above 4,000 feet above the hill,” the statement said. “At 13:49 the pilot called the dispatcher and requested the RNAV approach to runway 26, but was denied the request due to active limited airspace. The dispatcher also asked the pilot why he had not answered previous radio calls, and the pilot replied that he had “tried to get out” and was unable to receive the radio broadcast. The dispatcher suggested landing on runway 8 or runway 3, and the pilot chose runway 8 ”.
The dispatcher said at 1:52 p.m. that limited airspace was no longer in effect, and asked if the pilot wanted an RNAV approach to runway 26 instead. The pilot replied that he would be grateful.
After some course correction to get back on the way to Beaufort Airport, the dispatcher tried to get back to the plane at 2:01 p.m., “because the plane was at an altitude of 4,700 feet above sea level. and quickly typed up. There was no answer, ”the message reads.
It also noted that “there were no distress calls or declarations of emergency from the plane.”
Among the eight dead on board were four East Carteret High School students.
- Ernest Durwood Rawls, 67, Greenville, North Carolina, pilot
- Jeffrey Worthington Rawls, 28, Greenville, North Carolina
- Stephanie Ann McKinnis Fulcher, 42, Sea Level, North Carolina
- Jonathan Cole McKinnis, 15, Sea Level, North Carolina
- Douglas Hunter Parks, 45, Sea Level, NC
- Noah Lee Steiran, 15, Cedar Island, North Carolina
- Michael Daly Shepard, 15, Atlantic, North Carolina
- Jacob Nolan Taylor, 16, Atlantic, North Carolina
Officials said the plane was found smashed in 60 feet of water. Divers have found an on-board recorder that is currently being used to determine the cause of the crash.