Saturday, September 24, 2022

White Lightning WLAC-1, N17WL: Accident occurred September 24, 2022 at Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU), South Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina 

Aircraft landed, blew a tire and slid off the runway damaging landing gear and incurred a propeller strike.

Date: 24-SEP-22
Time: 14:31:00Z
Regis#: N17WL
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Flight Crew: 1 
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

GREENVILLE, South Carolina — A plane crashed at the Greenville Downtown Airport Saturday morning, according to Robert Hoover, Public Relations Director for Greenville Downtown Airport.

Hoover said the crash was due to pilot error. No injuries were reported.

According to Hoover, the landing gear was damaged in the crash. The airport was temporarily closed to clear the runway, which is procedure. However, it is back open.

The city of Greenville said on its Facebook page that the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.

It also said a crane will be brought in to remove the plane.


  1. This is one of the surviving White Lightning planes that were built as kits in my town of Walterboro, SC back in the 1980's. It set a record as the fastest 4-place certified airplane in the world. I'm not sure if it still holds that record. I have friends who worked in the "factory" at the airport (Lowcountry Regional). The back two passengers sat facing rearward in order to provide the streamlined shape. Hopefully the owner can repair it into flying condition, as White Lightning planes occupy a little place in aviation history.

    1. type certificated aircraft makes repair very expensive.

  2. According to the registration it's an experimental.

  3. Looks like they were offered as a kit in the 90's, quick but (243kt max, 215kt cruise). I don't see anything about ever being certified, but who know.

    I think the Cessna TTx was around 235-240kt cruise, don't recall max speed.

    1. The TTX (Cessna 400) was taken from the Columbia 300, which itself was a design from a Lancair. Book max cruise is 235kts but most owners don't run it that fast for fuel savings between 210-220kts. It is definitely a Cirrus SR22T punisher. Only the Mooney Acclaim Ultra cruises faster at 242kts.

    2. Yup, remember the 300/400's (I live in the PNW). I get the fuel burn thing too- I have an RV-7A with a 390. 10-15kt slower saves a lot of fuel

  4. Well I guess that leaves just two of them flying. Sad. There were twelve on the registry. Will Mathews offered the business with the molds for sale in 2015 but I never heard if there was a buyer or what happened to them. I know that one unfinished kit and one partially completed kit were shipped to Australia to the TurbAero guy.

  5. I made the first comment and stand corrected, as the White Lightning was classified as experimental. But the speed records it set were certified as records. A friend whose day job was in the administration of the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station organized the group that certified the speeds. The "course" was a straight line shot of about 14 miles from the Allendale, SC airport to the Hampton, SC airport.