GREENWOOD, SC – A huge plume of smoke that could be seen over two miles away billowed into the air after a plane crashed at the Greenwood County airport Saturday igniting several acres of grass and brush and destroying the aircraft.
According to the pilot Gene Gunnin, the Cessna Citation 550 aircraft had just touched down when it struck the deer. "A deer ran out on the runway upon landing" said Gunnin. "It went under the left wing and struck the left landing gear."
The plane continued about one half of a mile down the runway, spilling jet fuel the entire way. The plane caught on fire and ignited a brush fire that consumed grass and brush along the runway.
The plane was destroyed in the blaze which consumed all but the nose of the plane. The pilot and the one passenger in the plane were able to get off the plane safely. "No one was hurt." Gunnin said.
Coronaca Fire Department, Northwest Fire Department, Hodges-Cokesbury Fire Department, Highway 34 Fire Department, Epworth-Phoenix Fire Department, Greenwood County EMS, South Carolina Highway Patrol, Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene.