Pilot found in swampy field near Sumter Airport - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Emergency crews lift partially submerged plane, rescue missing pilot

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SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A Sumter man was trying to land his plane at Sumter Airport around noon when he got into trouble and crashed.

In the middle of a swampy grassy field, there's not much left of the single-engine airplane.

"The FAA will come in and do an investigation and determine what caused the crash," said Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis. "At this time, we have no knowledge of what actually caused the crash."

The pilot, in his 70s, was scheduled to land across the street at the airport around lunchtime but he never touched down.

Around 5:30 p.m. the sheriff's department and fire crews finally spotted the plane.

It was upside down, the pilot was entrapped and water was slowly filling into the cockpit.

Dennis said it took several men to lift the plane right side up.

"A combination of all of us -- we were able to travel this almost swamp back here to locate the plane and remove the pilot from the plane," Dennis said.

The victim was transported to Palmetto Health Richland with several bruises and possible some broken bones, Dennis said.

"To have stayed in the plane in the condition he was in over four hours was really traumatic," Dennis said.

Dennis said it's fortunate the plane landed where it did. 

"We have several subdivisions -- several housing projects -- near here within 500 to 600 yards of this site," Dennis said.

According to FAA records, the plane is an experimental-amateur built plane manufactured in 2012.

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