Thomson plane crash
By: Kara Apel Email
By: Kara Apel Email

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW) -- After a normal, uneventful journey, flight N777VG was getting ready to land at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport on the night of Wednesday, Feb. 20.

For many of the five passengers, it was a flight they had taken many times before -- taking them from The Vein Guys office in Nashville back to Thomson.

Then, something went terribly wrong.

The cause of the plane crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB Identification: ERA13MA139

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Thomson, GA

Aircraft: BEECH 390, registration: N777VG

Injuries: 5 Fatal, 2 Serious.

"This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 20, 2013, at 2006 eastern standard time, a Beechcraft 390 Premier 1A, N777VG, was destroyed following a collision with a utility pole, trees, and terrain following a go-around at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport (HQU), Thomson, Georgia. The airline transport-rated pilot and co-pilot were seriously injured, and five passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Pavilion Group LLC and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated at John C. Tune Airport (JWN), Nashville, Tennessee, about 1828 central standard time (1928 eastern standard time).

The purpose of the flight was to transport staff members of a vascular surgery practice from Nashville to Thomson, where the airplane was based. According to initial air traffic control information, the pilot checked in with Augusta approach control and reported HQU in sight. About 2003, the pilot cancelled visual flight rules flight-following services and continued toward HQU. The last recorded radar return was observed about 2005, when the airplane was at an indicated altitude of 700 feet above mean sea level and 1/2 mile from the airport. There were no distress calls received from the crew prior to the accident.

Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be in position to land when the pilot discontinued the approach and commenced a go-around. The witnesses observed the airplane continue down the runway at a low altitude.

The airplane struck a poured-concrete utility pole and braided wires about 59 feet above ground level. The pole was located about 1/4 mile east the departure end of runway 10. The utility pole was not lighted. During the initial impact with the utility pole, the outboard section of the left wing was severed. The airplane continued another 1/4 mile east before colliding with trees and terrain. A postcrash fire ensued and consumed a majority of the airframe. The engines separated from the fuselage during the impact sequence. On-scene examination of the wreckage revealed that all primary airframe structural components were accounted for at the accident site. The landing gear were found in the down (extended) position, and the flap handle was found in the 10-degree (go-around) position.

An initial inspection of the airport revealed that the pilot-controlled runway lights were operational. An examination of conditions recorded on an airport security camera showed that the runway lights were on the low intensity setting at the time of the accident. The airport did not have a control tower. An inspection of the runway surface did not reveal any unusual tire marks or debris.

Weather conditions at HQU near the time of the accident included calm wind and clear skies."

Dr. Steven Roth

steven roth
Image from The Vein Guys

From The Vein Guys: "Dr. Roth, who died in the accident, has a wife, Mary Anne, and a son and daughter who are 12 and 9 years old, respectively.

He was extremely dedicated to the practice and dreamed of continuing the expansion of the company to educate and treat individuals suffering from vein disease. He was a board-certified vascular and general surgeon who received his degree from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. He received an appointment into the postgraduate Vascular Surgery Fellowship training program at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Dr. Roth was truly loved by his employees and willing to assist them professionally and personally in any way necessary. He was hard-working with high expectations for himself and his team. Dr. Roth cared deeply about his patients, wanting to ensure they were given the highest quality and most painless treatment available. Always spontaneous, he desired to show his staff things in the world he believed they may never have the opportunity to see otherwise.

Dr. Roth gave generously to multiple foundations including University Healthcare Foundation, the Heart and Vascular Foundation, the Breast Cancer Foundation, and Augusta Preparatory Day School, to name a few."

Memorial arrangements:
A vigil will be held for Dr. Roth on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. followed by a visitation until 8 p.m. at the Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Home (214 Davis Rd, Augusta, GA 30907). His funeral will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. at St. Teresa's Catholic Church (4921 Columbia Rd, Grovetown, GA 30813).

Kim Davidson

kim davidson
Image from The Hatcher Funeral Home

From The Vein Guys: "Kim Davidson, 43, is survived by her husband, Robert, and two daughters who are 12 and 15 years old. She was the patient care coordinator and executive assistant to Dr. Roth and began working for the practice five years ago but was part of the family long before that.

Kim was heavily involved in the Republican Baptist Church and considered her life her children. She was very outgoing and always willing to make you laugh. In the office, she wore many hats and desired to help wherever needed. She had a way of touching people. She loved the water and boating and often visited the lake with her family."

Memorial arrangements:
Kim's visitation is on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hatcher Funeral Home (3464 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Langley, SC 29834). Her funeral service is on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1:30 p.m. at the Republican Baptist Church (610 Republican Road, Edgefield, Clarks Hill, SC 29821).

Heidi McCorkle

heidi mccorkle
Image from The Vein Guys

From The Vein Guys: "Heidi McCorkle, 28, was the senior ultrasound technologist for all divisions and was known for her feisty personality. She has worked with the practice since 2007. Additionally, she trained newly-hired technicians and was solely responsible for the Vein Guys receiving national accreditation for ultrasound from the Inter Societal Accreditation Commission for Vascular Testing.

She was a single mother to two sons who are 6 and 10 years old. She adored her children, whom she considered her world, and was recently planning a trip for them to visit Atlantis, Bahamas. She loved her father.

Heidi served as president of the Vascular Technology Society Regional Chapter in Augusta.

'I admired how much Heidi had grown over the past year,” said Kelly Vann, chief operating officer of the Vein Guys. “She was trying to further her education and had begun to really focus on her health. I was so proud of all the positive changes she had made in her life.”

Memorial arrangements:
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Home (214 Davis Rd, Augusta, GA 30907). Heidi's funeral will be held Thursday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Hilley officiating. Internment will follow at the Bellevue Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the scholarship donation fund for Heidi’s children. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank.

Tiffany Porter

Image from The Vein Guys

From The Vein Guys: "Tiffany Porter, 28, had only been working for the Vein Guys for three days prior to the accident. She was hired as an ultrasound technologist and was in the middle of training.

Tiffany was relocating from Albany to Nashville to be with her boyfriend.

The staff indicates that she felt like a perfect fit to the family and her kind heart and sweet nature radiated from her. She loved her animals, a dog and cat, and is survived by her sister, mother and father."

Memorial arrangements:
Tiffany's visitation is on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Ralph, Ala., followed by her funeral at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Greenbriar Church (3404 Gillionville Road, Albany, GA 31721).

Lisa Volpitto

lisa volpitto
Image from The Vein Guys

From The Vein Guys: "Lisa Volpitto, the Vein Guys certified nurse anesthetist, was 46 years old. She began working for the practice in 2007. Lisa is survived by her husband Dave Volpitto, M.D. Anesthesiologist, who also works for the Vein Guys, and a 15-year old daughter.

She was a woman who always had a smile on her face regardless of the situation. Lisa cared deeply for her patients and took great care to
ensure everything was always done the right way.

She had an immense love for her daughter which she openly shared and her dogs, which often traveled with her and her husband during family trips. Lisa was quiet in nature with a great capacity to love."

Memorial arrangements:
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at noon in the chapel at the Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Home (214 Davis Rd, Augusta, GA 30907) with Rev. Paul Volpitto and Rev. Gary Dean officiating. The visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the time of the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 1848, Longmont, CO 80502, in honor of Lisa's mother.

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