Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cessna 310I, N8080M: Fatal accident occurred March 21, 2020 near Charleston Executive Airport (KJZI), Johns Island, Charleston County, South Carolina

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina
Continental Motors; Mobil, Alabama
Textron; Kansas City, Kansas

Location: Charleston, SC
Accident Number: ERA20LA132
Date & Time: 03/21/2020, 1859 EDT
Registration: N8080M
Aircraft: Cessna 310
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On March 21, 2020, about 1859 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 310I, N8080M, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Charleston, South Carolina. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

On March 18, 2020, the pilot departed Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (ZPH), Zephyrhills, Florida and landed at South Jersey Regional Airport (VAY), Mount Holly, New Jersey, about 2030. The airplane remained on the ramp until March 21, 2020, when the pilot departed VAY for ZPH. The pilot landed at Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport (RWI), Rocky Mount, North Carolina about 1630 for fuel and then continued the flight to ZPH on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

A review of preliminary air traffic control communications and radar data revealed that, about 1852, the airplane was en route to ZPH at an altitude of about 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl). About that time, the pilot told Charleston approach that the airplane was experiencing a loss of engine power and he needed to land immediately at the nearest airport. The Charleston approach controller gave him vectors to Charleston Executive Airport (JZI), and then asked the pilot which engine he was having problems with. The pilot told him "should be my left but having problems with both engines." The Charleston approach controller provided vectors to the pilot for runway 9 at JZI and radar contact with the airplane was lost about 1/4-mile northwest of the approach end for runway 9 about 1859.

A witness in the Charleston area stated he was on his patio when the airplane flew directly overhead. He said it sounded like "the engine was revving fast to slow as if it was having fuel problems." He said the airplane sputtered on and off for 15-20 seconds and then he could no longer hear the airplane.

Another witness stated he was in his backyard when the airplane flew over and sounded like it was having issues. It "seemed to stall and then rev back up" several times, as if the airplane "was running out of fuel."

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane was inverted, and fuel was on the ground around the airplane. The fuel was consistent with 100 low lead aviation fuel.

Examination of the wreckage by a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator revealed that both wings were fractured off by impact forces with the trees. Both the main and auxiliary fuel tanks were breached. The fuel selector valves were in the auxiliary fuel tank position. The airplane was equipped with Garmin GTN-750 and G500 multi-function display units, which were removed and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders laboratory for data download.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N8080M
Model/Series:310 I 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KJZI, 17 ft msl
Observation Time: 2315 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / 15 knots, 210°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8500 ft agl
Visibility:  9 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Rocky Mount, NC (RWI)
Destination: Zephyrhills, FL (ZPH) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.708056, -80.015556 (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

Andrew Meyer, 64, of Tampa, Florida

Andy Meyer, left, holds his newborn granddaughter Aria in a photo posted to his Facebook page on March 19th. Meyer, 64, was flying the Cessna 310 at right on the way back to Tampa from Philadelphia after meeting Aria from when the plane crashed near Charleston Executive Airport in South Carolina on March 21st. He died at the scene. 

TAMPA — Andy Meyer refused to let a pandemic stop him from seeing his first grandchild.

An avid pilot, Meyer considered taking a commercial flight to Philadelphia last week to visit his daughter and her new baby, Aria. But with the Coronavirus spreading rapidly, he didn’t want to risk the exposure to the virus, said friend Omar Medina.

“He said it was a $66 dollar flight he could have taken,” Medina said. “He told me, ‘I’m not going to not see my grandchild.’"

So Meyer, the 64-year-old owner of Continental Wholesale Diamonds in Tampa, took Medina’s twin-engine Cessna. On the way back to Florida, as Meyer flew over Charleston, S.C., something went wrong.

“I’m losing my engine, I need to land quickly, can you get me to the closest airport?” Meyer told an air traffic controller, his voice calm but urgent.

The controller gave Meyer course headings to the nearby Charleston Executive Airport and asked if the left or right engine was malfunctioning.

“It should be my left but I’m having trouble with both,” he replied.

Over the next several minutes, the controller helped guide Meyer toward the airport. Meyer said he wasn’t sure he could maintain the required altitude, then stopped responding altogether.

“He’s flown for thousands of hours, you could hear how calm he was,” said Meyer’s son Jacob. “I don’t think there was a single second that he didn’t believe he wasn’t going to be able to land that plane.”

Sitting at the controls on the way home to Tampa , Andy Meyer had plenty of reasons to be happy, his son said.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Meyer had been in the jewelry business for 40 years. He loved sales, interacting with people and being his own boss. He also made his two kids, Jacob and Gabrielle, a priority.

“He worked hard and put his life into the business, but he did everything for me and my sister,” said Jacob, 35, of Chicago. “He never missed a single thing. Sports, school, any special occasion, he was there.”

Meyer’s business struggled at times and some of the problems spilled over into his personal life, his son said. He went through a divorce about 15 years ago.

In 2012, the owners of a 35-year-old Tampa jewelry store named Continental Jewelry decided to get out of the business. Meyer was one of the store’s largest wholesale suppliers at the time and helped the owners liquidate the store.

Impressed by the business’s reputation and client loyalty, he incorporated the name into his own venture, Continental Wholesale Diamonds, according to a news release issued at the time. A year later, Meyer moved the store to the Westshore Center on Westshore Boulevard.

A graduate of the University of Miami, Meyer had always wanted to own a home in Florida and in 2016 bought a Harbour Island townhouse on Sparkman Channel. He became active at the Rodeph Sholom synagogue on Bayshore Boulevard and supported local charities, often by sponsoring events, such as the Tampa Jewish Community Centers and Federation and the Tampa Woman’s Club.

Continental Wholesale business hit a rough patch in 2018, prompting Meyer to file for bankruptcy. In a court filing, Meyer said much of the problem stemmed from an employee who stole from the business. He was determined to keep the business open and went ahead with plans to move to a larger space in a building a few blocks to the south.

“He’d worked so hard and had ups and downs, but he’d finally got himself into a place where he was building something great for himself,” Jacob Meyer said.

In 1999, Meyer and a friend flew a twin-engine Baron from Philadelphia across the North Atlantic Ocean, making stops in Scotland, England and Rome.

The trip speaks to Meyer’s skills, said Medina, a Tampa attorney.

“It shows he’s a skillful navigator, a careful planner and knows the condition of the airplane he’s in," he said. He called Meyer a cautious pilot who “did everything by the book."

Meyer had owned planes in the past but in recent years had rented to fly. When he decided he wanted to own one again, he made plans to become part-owner of a 1964 Cessna 310 that Medina had owned for more than two decades. Medina said the engines and props on the six-seat plane had less than 200 hours on them and he recently replaced the instrument panel with new, state of the art technology.

Medina said Meyer had flown 15 to 20 hours in the plane, including 10 with an instructor, a requirement by Medina’s insurance company for Meyer to be covered while flying by himself.

On March 18, a day after his daughter Gabrielle Sullivan gave birth, Meyer took off from Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa and flew north to Philadelphia. In a photo he posted on Facebook the next day, Meyer is smiling as he holds the baby swaddled in a blanket with a pattern of pink roses.

“Say hello to Aria,” the post says.

Meyer left Philadelphia on March 21, stopping for fuel at Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport in North Carolina. He took off again at 5:31 p.m., according to, and would have touched down about 8:15 p.m. at Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, where he planned to refuel before continuing on to Tampa.

He was about five miles northeast of Charleston Executive Airport when he radioed air traffic control to report engine trouble.

During the radio transmission, available on, Meyer told the controller he was alone and had three hours of fuel on board. The controller said they were notifying the airport he was on his way and had an emergency.

Over the next several minutes, Meyer struggled to get a visual on the airport. The controller asked Meyer if he could guide him in from the south, requiring Meyer to turn around. Meyer said okay.

The controller told Meyer he was about a half mile southeast of the airport and asked if he could maintain an altitude of 2,000 feet.

“I don’t know what I can maintain, just please give me...please give me where I’m going,” Meyer replied, his tone more urgent.

The controller told him to turn right but Meyer didn’t answer. The controller told him to check his altitude immediately. No answer.

“If you hear this transmission," the controller said, “radar contact lost.”

Back in Tampa, Jacob Meyer was at his father’s townhouse with his dad’s girlfriend, preparing a dinner of steak, chicken, fish and shrimp. Jacob had flown in from Chicago and hadn’t seen his father since Thanksgiving.

When his father didn’t show up by 8:20 p.m., Jacob checked and was puzzled to see his father had stopped in Charleston. Then he saw how his speed and altitude dropped steeply. When Meyer called the airport and relayed the plane’s tail number, the person who answered began to stammer as if unsure what to say, then asked him to hold.

Jacob searched online and saw Charleston news outlets reporting that a plane had crashed into a wooded area near the airport.

“From that point, it was just confirming what we already knew,” he said.

Jacob Meyer learned later the plane hit a tree and went down about 2,000 feet short of the runway. He was told his dad did not suffer.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and typically releases a preliminary report within a month or so. A final report, which outlines the cause of the crash if possible, takes at least a year.

As word of his death spread, friends took to Facebook to pay tribute and flooded Jacob Meyer’s phone with condolences. Many had a similar refrain: He was kind, generous and always there when we needed him.

Jacob Meyer said he immediately made sure the jewelry store and its contents were secure. The next step is to do a complete inventory and then decide the store’s future.

On Thursday, Jacob flew to Philadelphia to see his father buried in a family plot. Jewish tradition calls for burial within 24 hours, so they wanted to proceed as quickly as possible. Because of the Coronavirus, only Jacob and a friend attended, and the funeral director live-streamed the burial on Zoom. Jacob called his sister on FaceTime and held his phone during the service.

After the pine box was lowered into the grave, Jacob dropped a shovelful of soil onto it, another tradition. He held the phone up so Gabrielle could say some final words to her dad, then dropped some soil for her.

Just as the service ended, a small private prop plane flew over the cemetery, the buzz of its engines breaking the silence.

At some point, after the pandemic ebbs and people can gather and embrace again, the family will hold a life celebration in Tampa, Jacob said.

“That’s when we’ll really be able to memorialize him.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Andy Meyer, right, is pictured in this family photo with his son Jacob Meyer, left, daughter Gabrielle Sullivan and son-in-law Jason Sullivan. The owner of Continental Wholesale Diamonds in Tampa, Andy Meyer was killed died March 21st when the Cessna 310 he was flying crashed near Charleston Executive Airport in South Carolina.

JOHNS ISLAND, South Carolina (WCIV) — This is the latest information on a plane crash that occurred near the Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island, South Carolina, on March 21st, 2020.

(5:45 p.m., March 22)

A pilot is dead after his small airplane crashed Saturday evening, March 21st, outside Charleston.

Andrew Meyer, 64, of Tampa, Florida, died from injuries suffered when his Cessna 310I aircraft crashed near the Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island around 7 p.m. Saturday, according to the Charleston County Coroner's Office.

Meyer was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Air traffic control audio provided to ABC News 4 indicates Meyer's twin-engine plane may have been experiencing mechanical problems in one of its engines as he made his way from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to Zephyrhills, Florida.

Federal aviation authorities are investigating the official cause of the incident.

(9:45 p.m., March 21st)

A Cessna 310I with only the pilot aboard crashed Saturday night the Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island (KJZI), according to officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

The plane crashed around 7 p.m. in a wooded area about one mile north of KJZI, according to Spencer Pryor, communications director for the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

The aircraft had departed from an airport in North Carolina headed for an airport in Florida, according to Arlene Salac, a regional spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot was attempting to land at KJZI when the accident occurred, Salac added. Authorities have not revealed details about the pilot's condition.

KJZI is a small two-runway airport serving the general aviation community. It is located about 7 miles southwest of Charleston.

The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing to investigate the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will work to determine the most likely cause of the accident.

The Charleston County Rescue Squad, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston, the Charleston County Aviation Authority Police, local fire departments other emergency responders were dispatched to aid in search and rescue efforts.

(8:15 p.m., March 21st)

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston helicopter crews are assisting in search and rescue operations related to a plane reported to have gone down near the Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island on Saturday night.

A USCG spokesperson says Sector Charleston crews are aiding the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and other local emergency responders in search efforts.

Initial reports show one person was aboard the Cessna 310I, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson.

A source tells ABC News 4 the plane is believed to have gone down in a wooded area near marsh north of the airport.

Original article can be found here ➤

JOHNS ISLAND, South Carolina (WCBD) -Charleston County Rescue Squad, Charleston County Aviation Authority, Charleston County Police and Fire, and multiple other agencies responded to a call of a downed plane shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Charleston County Aviation Authority Deputy Director and Chief Communications Officer, Spencer Pryor, says the small aircraft crashed in the area of Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island.

On scene, a Cessna 310I was located crashed one mile north of the Charleston Executive Airport.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office says that Andrew Meyer, 64, died as a result of the accident.

Meyer was the only occupant of the plane.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Cessna 310I departed from Rocky Mount Airport in North Carolina and intended to land at Zephyrhills Municipal Airport in Florida.

A source told News 2 that they could hear the plane’s engine cutting on and off.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will work to determine the probable cause of the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤

JOHNS ISLAND, South Carolina (WCSC) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash of a small plane near the Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island Saturday night.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Arlene Salac said a Cessna 310 crashed one mile north of the airport at 7 p.m.

“The pilot was attempting to land in Charleston when the accident occurred,” she said.

The aircraft departed from Rocky Mount Airport in North Carolina and was headed to Zephyrhills Municipal Airport in Florida, she said.

The pilot was the only person on the plane, Salac said.

Shortly after 7 p.m., multiple agencies responded to a call of a downed small aircraft near the airport, Charleston International Airport spokesman Spencer Pryor said.

Coast Guard crews confirmed they found a Cessna 310 crashed in the wood line.

The Charleston County Rescue Squad, Charleston County Aviation Authority Police and Fire and other agencies responded.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤

Authorities have identified the victim of a plane crash that occurred on Johns Island on Saturday night.

Andrew Meyer, 64, of Tampa, Florida was the only person onboard, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.

The airplane crashed around 7 p.m. Saturday. Meyer died from injuries he sustained from the impact of the crash.

The plane was a Cessna 310I traveling from Rocky Mount, N.C., to Florida. It was trying to land at Charleston Executive Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

As Meyer tried to land, the plane crashed into the woods about a mile north of the airport, the FAA said.

The FAA is investigating the incident.

Original article ➤


  1. Charleston Approach (KCHS) ATC Audio. Starts ~ 24:00


  3. He was a good guy and a great contributor to the Tampa community. I met him a few times at some community events he and his company were sponsors of. Didn't realize he was a pilot.

  4. Man... that was harrowing to listen to... he almost made it. Really looked like he was going to make it. ATC really tried. Very sad.

  5. He seemed to have it under control, albeit stressed (but which one of us wouldn't be?) Looking at the track log it appeared initial approach passed close in and east of the field. Seemed to have trouble spotting it, maybe too close and under wing? I figured plenty of altitude to make the offered pattern, stay above min. control. airspeed and land to the east, but had four good options for runways to get to.

    To get something good out of this, I am going to go out and try to replicate the scenario in the Be-58. Just looking at the numbers I would have guessed a orbit or two needed to get it down ... maybe not the case. RIP

  6. He said 3 hr fuel on board. Trouble with both engines. Fuel pump problem? Are these common in 310?

  7. After watching the video, why didn't he go for Rny 22? Almost a straight in. Looks like he lost it turning to 09. It appears that required more than a 180 degree turn to get runway alignment. Difficult enough under normal circumstances.

  8. Fuel contamination/Jet-A in recently selected tank or unable to select desired tank? many 310's have an odd ball amount of small tanks besides the main tip tanks, mine had two mains, two inboards and one wing locker.

  9. 25.00 - Start of Distress communications with ATC.
    29:30 - Radar Contact lost.

    2 engines going dead it sounds like. Scary. especially at night! Sounds like fuel Starvation, but why? I don't fly at night in a single engines any more only a multi engines, but this still can happen. It would have been quicker in IMC!


  10. In our CE-340 we would run the tips ( Mains) for an hour, the the inboard Aux for about an hour, then back to the tips ( Mains)....but you had be careful, it was easy to forget single pilot....

  11. The 300 and 400 series of Cessna's have a complicated fuel system. The tip tanks are the mains but regardless of the tank selected the fuel goes to the tip tank first before going to the engine. This can create two problems if not used correctly. First if you select a aux tank with the tip tank full it will all vent overboard. The aux goes down and the tip remains full but very little of the fuel makes it to the engine thus greatly diminishing range and endurance. The second problem is if you get distracted and run the mains dry your done flying. You can still have full aux tanks and nacelle tanks but it has no way to get to the engines. It requires very good fuel management and is not a set it and forget it type of fuel system. I always use some sort of reminder for when it was time to change tanks because its easy to get distracted and forget to do it. Like the previous poster mentioned the correct way is to burn the mains down for a hour or so to create room for the fuel coming from the other tanks. Your aux tanks will go down and the level in the mains will go up minus the fuel used while its transferred.

    1. I think you may be mistaken when you said you can have fuel in the aux tanks and have no way for that fuel to get to the engine. When selected to the aux tanks (wings) the engine uses the fuel from those tanks directly. However it always takes more than it needs and the unused portion returns to the mains (tips). Therefor when selected to the aux tanks, you go through the quantity that is in there more quickly. Nacelle tanks transfer fuel to the tips from where it can be used.

    2. Responding to the post at 1:25 above .... You need to read the manual ... I would also suggest that you get a checkout before you fly the actual plane .... Your info is WAY OFF.

    3. Pilot was probably surprised by early depletion of the Aux tanks due to the excess pumped from them by design. The info in bold below from suggests that port uncovering due to slosh in yaw will give some sputters that would clear up/re-occur without full exhaustion of Aux fuel, so understanding the problem can be harder for the unfamiliar pilot. If he still had one or both selectors on Aux, the maneuvering for approach would include more port uncovering events, including alternating stumbles on left and right as "trouble with both of my engines".

      "There’s another thing about the auxiliary tanks which could cause an “uh-oh” moment if you weren’t expecting it. When the airplane was cruising and hit slight turbulence, it had a tendency to yaw. When the auxiliary tanks were low, the yaw would push fuel away from the fuel intake, and the engines would sputter. The answer to this phenomenon was to either ride a rudder to stabilize the swaying or to switch back to the mains when turbulence was expected."

    4. Interesting ... Had never heard of or experienced that ... Makes sense.

  12. Yep ... Ran the aux dry then never switched back to the mains.



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