The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal crash of a small aircraft near Oliver Springs Airport on Saturday.
The crash of the experimental light sport aircraft was reported at about 5:18 p.m. Saturday near Smith Road. That’s just east of the airport and on the other side of a tree line, according to an Anderson County Sheriff’s Department report.
The Quicksilver MXII had crashed into a field, and its nose was down into the ground, ACSD Sergeant Kenneth L. Bradley wrote in the report.
The pilot who died has been identified as Patrick Lucas, 45, of Morristown. He appeared to be the only occupant of the aircraft, the report said.
After responding to the crash, Bradley asked the Oliver Springs Police Department to see if they could contact anyone at the Oliver Springs Airport. OSPD officers located a vehicle at the airport, and they were able to preliminarily identify Lucas using the vehicle registration, the report said.
The NTSB said an aircraft that crashes usually remains in place while an investigator is at the site and can document the crash. Then, within a day or so, the aircraft is taken from the crash site and moved to a secure location, where the investigation can continue, said Peter Knudson, NTSB spokesperson. The aircraft that crashed on Saturday appeared to have been removed as of Sunday afternoon. An NTSB investigator has been in this area for a few days and is headed back to the Washington, D.C., area now.
Many details about the crash remain unclear, such as the cause, whether the aircraft was based at Oliver Springs Airport, and where the plane was headed at the time of the crash.
Knudson said the investigator will write up a preliminary report about the crash, and the report could be available in one to two weeks.
The last aircraft crash in the area occurred April 15, 2017, when a gust of wind blew a small experimental or ultralight aircraft into trees while the pilot was approaching a private grass landing strip on Ray Lane off Valley Drive in Oliver Springs. The pilot in that crash had some visible lacerations but refused any medical treatment, and the plane had extensive damage. The Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB were both notified of that crash. (See the final NTSB report here.)
Besides the NTSB, ACSD, and OSPD, other agencies that responded to the crash this past weekend were the medical examiner’s office, Marlow Volunteer Fire Department, Anderson County EMS, and FAA, the Sheriff’s Department report said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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