NTSB preliminary report on plane crash in South Carolina that claimed lives of four Warsaw men released

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report about the small plane crash that killed four Warsaw men.

The single-engine plane, piloted by Charles Smith, 71, was enroute to Oconee County Regional Airport in Clemson, S.C., from Warsaw Municipal Airport, on Friday, Oct. 2, according to The Elkhart Truth which reviewed the NTSB report.

Smith was cleared to approach the South Carolina airport and began final approach procedures, The Elkhart Truth reported.

An air traffic controller tried to contact Smith about the plane’s approach but didn’t receive a response, the report says. Radar contact was lost over Lake Hartwell, located on the Georgia-South Carolina border, according to the report.

Several people living in the area said they heard and saw the plane before it crashed at 3:12 p.m., the report says.

The area’s 911 center received multiple calls. Emergency crews located the wreckage shortly afterward, the report says.

The airplane was destroyed by the force of the impact and did not catch fire, the report says. It was found in a wooded area, north of the lake where radar contact was lost.

Smith, along with his son, attorney Scott Smith, former sprint car racer Tony Elliott and former Tippecanoe Valley High School football coach Scott Bibler – were on the way to a Notre Dame football game at Clemson University.

Read more about the NTSB’s preliminary report as reported by The Elkhart Truth.