Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N475RT: Accident occurred January 11, 2022 on Edisto Island, 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 Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

Seasky27 Productions LLC 

Location: Edisto Island, South Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA22LA104
Date and Time: January 11, 2022, 12:47 Local
Registration: N475RT
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 11, 2022, about 1247 eastern standard time (EST), a Piper, PA-32-300, N475RT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Edisto Island, South Carolina. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane, the first leg of the flight was uneventful. After landing at Columbus County Municipal Airport (CPC), Whiteville, North Carolina to get fuel, he resumed the flight to Florida. After departure, about 15 minutes into the flight, while cruising at 4,500 ft mean sea level (msl), the engine started to sputter, then stopped, followed immediately by oil blowing out from the engine cowling onto the windshield, partially limiting his field of view. Seeing no immediate landing location ahead of him, “there was nothing but marsh and river,” he pitched up for 100 mph and turned 180° and declared an emergency.

He observed a straight road between two fields out of his side window and headed towards the area. After setting up for a short final to the road, he observed an electrified livestock fence on both sides of the road, but he was already committed for landing and there was nothing he could do to avoid the fence. After touching down, both wings struck the fence, causing the airplane to veer to the right, through the fence and into a field for about 300 ft before coming to rest.

Examination of photographs of the accident site taken by first responders and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage; the airplane's right wing contained a large tear in the leading edge and the right landing gear had collapsed, causing additional wing damage. There was oil on the top of the engine cowl and oil spray on the windshield and fuselage. Upon further examination of the engine, a hole was discovered on the top of the engine near the No. 6 cylinder.

 The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N475RT
Model/Series: PA-32-300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: JZI,17 ft msl
Observation Time: 13:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C /-9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 50°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.48 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Whiteville, NC (CPC)
Destination: Stuart, FL (SUA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.574029,-80.338475 (est)

EDISTO ISLAND, South Carolina (WCBD) – A small plane made an emergency landing near Edisto Island on Tuesday afternoon after it began to experience engine problems.

Chief Larry Garvin with the St. Paul Fire District told News 2 oil from the plane’s engine started to blow out of the engine compartment shortly after takeoff. The plane was enroute to Florida.

Chief Garvin said the pilot started to look for a safe plan to make an emergency landing. He landed the plane in a field behind King’s Farm Market off Highway 174 on Edisto Island.

The plane landed upright, but the wing hit a post during the landing, officials said.

Only the pilot was on board the plane at the time. That person was not injured.


  1. The report of oil leak shortly after takeoff is odd, ADS-B suggests he was airborne for about one hour after takeoff from Columbus County Municipal Airport (KCPC).

    Flightaware track:
    Adsbexchange track:

    1. three flight legs listed for 1/11.
      no airstrip noted, and none id near "King’s Farm Market off Highway 174 on Edisto Island." using google map search.

  2. I heard this guy on 121.5 yesterday, while flying over SC. A lot folks trying to help on frequency, understand his windshield was covered w/ oil. Tough situation, great job getting it on the ground

    1. He did well to pull it off with that oiled windshield. Google map shows what the open spaces are around King's Farm Market:'s+Farm+Market/@32.580876,-80.3368607,643m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x88fc2459855be395:0x1eb4c540fce90923!8m2!3d32.5809338!4d-80.3346609

  3. A single engine GA pilot's worst nightmare: windscreen covered in oil rendering all forward visibility off the nose impossible with a dying engine meaning you must look out the side for a place to put down NOW all while flying with no horizontal front reference on what's ahead when committed.

    1. WNCT9's news video made on scene has the pilot describe the engine failure.

      At 16 seconds before the video ends, you get a side view look at the windshield. He did well, but it doesn't appear that all forward visibility off the nose was rendered impossible.

    2. "He did well, but it doesn't appear that all forward visibility off the nose was rendered impossible." ....says the armchair quarterback expert in flying with an oil soaked windshield and a dead engine...