Hilton Head, SC Plane Kills Man in Emergency Beach Landing, Mar 2010

Plane kills man in SC emergency beach landing

HILTON HEAD, S.C. (AP) -- A single-engine plane with oil on its windshield hit and killed a man on a Hilton Head beach as the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing.

The man was walking or jogging along Palmetto Dunes when the Experimental Lancair IV-P plane hit him Monday evening, said Hilton Head Island fire and rescue spokeswoman Joheida (Joh-HI'-da) Fister.

The plane started leaking oil at about 13,000 feet and tried originally to make it to Hilton Head Airport, Fister said. The oil on the windshield blocked the pilot's vision and he told authorities the propeller came off the plane. When he tried to land on the beach near the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa, the plane hit the beachgoer and came to rest a little farther down the beach, she said.

"I would have to say it's pretty unusual," Fister said.

The names of the man killed, pilot and passenger on the plane were not released. Fister told The Island Packet newspaper the pilot and passenger, both men, were not injured.

FAA records show the aircraft was registered to Edward I. Smith of Chesapeake, Va., with a certificate issued in 2004. Nobody answered early Tuesday at a phone number listed for Smith and a message was not immediately answered.

The plane left Orlando at 4:45 p.m. and was headed for Virginia, Fister said. The four-seater plane has a turbine engine, can be built from a kit and can fly up to 370 mph, according to the Lancair Web site. The IV-P model has a pressurized cabin.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating, Fister said. A call late Monday to an FAA spokeswoman was not immediately returned.