UPDATE | Plane in pieces after crash in McCormick

Thursday, December 20, 2018

News 12 at 6/NBC at 7
McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A plane was cut into pieces after a crash in McCormick.

Crews took the plane out of the trees near Georgia-Pacific earlier today.

The two people on board survived.

Today crews strapped up the plane to remove it.

They cut off each wing of the plane, making it easier to lift it out of the trees.

“First and for most, they're very lucky," said Rocky Harrison, a resident of McCormick.

Two men are lucky to be alive after this plane crash in McCormick.

“And to be Christmas time and all like that, maybe somebody's looking out for them,” said Harrison.

Both the pilot and passenger told first responders they started having engine problems after leaving the McCormick Airport.

“I would be concerned about who was the mechanic and stuff on the plane as far as it not making it because someone had to maintain it," said Harrison.

The pilot says he put the plane down in the safest area he could.

“A lot of people get killed that way. You know most planes when they fall out of the sky they don't live,” said Harrison.

But the 2 people in this plane did. EMS treated them on the scene for just a few scratches.

“They say flying is safer than driving a car but that's only as good as your mechanic and stuff are," said Harrison.

2:13 p.m.
McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Officials have now removed the crashed plane from a wooded area near the Georiga-Pacific Corporation.

Two people were treated on the scene after the crash, but no one was seriously injured.

Check back with News 12 for the latest on this developing story.

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018
News 12 at 11

McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Officials say a plane on its way to Newnan, Georgia about three hours away from McCormick County, crashed in a tree line near the Georgia-Pacific lumber processing mill. That's not too far from McCormick Middle School.

The plane was a Diamond DA 20 model aircraft. It was about 2:30 p.m.when it crashed.

"Wow I can't believe they're alive," said Paula Phillips. Phillips was at the Plum Branch Yacht Club about seven miles away when the crash happened. She says she could hear it from there.

First responders and people who heard this small plane crash are calling it a miracle.

"I'm still in shock. I'm just thankful both people are okay,” said Phillips.

She says it's a Christmas miracle the people on board are okay. As soon as she heard a plane had crashed, she drove to the scene. She did not expect to see the plane still in the treeline when she arrived.

"I mean nothing like this ever happens around here," said Phillips.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane started having mechanical issues and tried to turn back to the airport, according to officials.

"The plane had a pilot and a passenger,' said Major Melvin Brock with the McCormick County Sheriff's Office. "By the time our units got on scene they were found outside of the plane,"

Those passengers somehow had just a few cuts and scrapes.

"We were all pretty shocked to see it...we're glad they made it out like they did," said Brock.

Now the sheriff’s office is turning the investigation over to the NTSB and the FAA.

Meanwhile, Paula and the passengers are glad it wasn't worse.

"I am so thankful...they are gonna have a great Christmas," said Phillips.

The NTSB is going to be out here as early as they can tomorrow morning. They'll work to figure out what mechanical issues caused the plane to go down.

As for the passengers, they crawled out of the plane themselves, and they were cleared by paramedics on scene.

3:25 p.m.
MCCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- According to officials, the small plane that crashed in McCormick County was en route to Newman, Georgia.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane developed mechanical issues. The pilot turned back to the airport but was unable to reach the runway in time.

The plane crashed on the Georgia Pacific Wood Mill property and was extremely damaged.

The two people on board were not severely injured but they are being treated by EMS.

According to the FAA, the plane was a Diamond DA 20 aircraft. The FAA says they will complete an investigation.

News 12 will continue to update this story.

2:45 p.m.
MCCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Emergency crews confirm a plane crash carrying two people.

News 12 is learning the small plane crash happened in McCormick county near the Georiga Pacific Corporation.

The two people involved in the crash is said to have made it out of the plane.

We are working to find out what type of plane crashed and the extent of the injuries, if any.

A News 12 crew is headed to the scene to gather more information. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.