Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sonex, N75SX: Fatal accident occurred September 12, 2018 in Marion County, South Carolina

Dr. James Hodges

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Marion, SC
Accident Number: ERA18LA249
Date & Time: 09/12/2018, 1320 EDT
Registration: N75SX
Aircraft: Edward R. Sugg Sonex
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 12, 2018, about 1320 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Sonex, N75SX, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Marion, South Carolina. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed the Florence Regional Airport (FLO), Florence, South Carolina, at an unknown time.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for single and multiengine land airplane. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on January 19, 2017. At that time, the pilot reported a total of 8,615 flight hours.

Weather reported at FLO, located about 19 miles west of the accident site, at 1353, was wind from 090° at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 9,000 ft, temperature 33°C, dew point 23°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.

The airplane wreckage was retained for further investigation. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Edward R. Sugg
Registration: N75SX
Model/Series: Sonex
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FLO, 146 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 9000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 90°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Florence, SC (FLO)
Destination: Florence, SC (FLO)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  34.000000, -79.000000 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Dr. James Hodges was born in Blair, Oklahoma. He married Doris Crawford of Arpelar, Oklahoma in 1951. They enjoyed 66 years of marriage which took them on trips and adventures throughout the United States and Europe during his United States Air Force career.

After retiring as a Lt. Col, James joined Pee Dee Pathology in Florence, SC.  He worked at the McLeod Hospital for 10 years before his retirement.

Academically, he obtained degrees from Tahlequah College, Oklahoma; The University of Southern California; and The Ohio State University.

While in the USAF, he served in Korea. He was awarded numerous commendations, medals, and honors while serving his country for 25 years. He became a licensed pilot in Germany in 1960.

He is survived by his wife, Doris Hodges; three children and their spouses - Debra (Ted) Layne of Boulder, Colorado, David (Donna) Hodges of Dallas, Texas, and Jimmy (Elaine) Hodges of Hartsville, SC; a sister, Barbara Cobb of Stigler, OK, his grandchildren - Christopher (Denise) Hodges of Portage, Indiana, Todd (Jenna) Layne of Golden, Colorado, Scott (Tiana) Layne, of Waipahu, Hawaii, Krista Hodges of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Kate Hodges of Dallas, Texas, his great grandchildren – Cailee Hodges, Camryn Hodges, Alex Hodges, Dash Layne, Jax Layne, Tiare Layne, and Mahina Layne. He is preceded in death by his parents - Clifford and Mary Hodges of Stigler, Oklahoma; one sister, Yvonne Campbell of Stigler, Oklahoma; and a grandson, Jason Hodges of Houston, Texas.

James greatest joy for the past 58 years was flying. He died in a plane crash doing what he enjoyed most in life. He always had a joke for his friends at the Florence FBO and South Carolina Fly-in Breakfast Club. “Doc” will be remembered by his flying buddies for his sense of humor and passion for flying.

He will be laid to rest at the National Cemetery in Florence, SC on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 10 am.  The family will receive guests at the cemetery immediately following the service.

Funeral arrangements are being performed by Kiser Funeral Home in Cheraw, SC.

MARION COUNTY, SC (WBTW) - A small plane crashed in Marion County on Wednesday afternoon. 

Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace confirms a small plane crashed on Laughlin Road in the area of Highway 76 and Hwy 301.

Only the pilot was on board the plane at the time of the crash, and Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson confirms the pilot died in the crash. An autopsy is planned for Thursday morning, but the victim's name has not been released.

It is not clear at this time what type of plane was involved in the crash or where the plane was headed.

Original article can be found here ➤

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