McDuffie County Plane Crash Kills Two

Sierra West Airlines flight PKW887, a Dassault Falcon 20CC, N283SA, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while on approach to Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU/KHQU), Thomson, Georgia. The captain and first officer were fatally injured.

The final ADS-B data point (located 1.1 nautical miles from Rwy 10 threshold) showed a descent rate of -1,600 feet per minute at 700 MSL (200′ AGL) and a ground speed of 133 Kts. The Field elevation is 500.9′ MSL. Lowest permitted decent on any approach to Rwy 10 is 400/1.

Here is the worrying, horrifying story of the accident.

Sylvia Cooper woke up Oct. 5 to what sounded like a loud clap of thunder.

Instead, the columnist for The Augusta Press learned a small plane had crashed in her pasture.

“Deputy Baldwin with the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Department told me a plane had crashed, and the pilot and co-pilot were dead,” said Cooper.

Cooper further related that Baldwin had told her the airport had lost the plane from radar around 6 a.m., but officials needed to wait until after sunrise to go on a search for it.

A small plane crashed in McDuffie County this morning. Photo by Ernie Rogers

“I thought it was about 5:30” when she heard the noise, she said. “But I didn’t roll over and look at the clock to see. It was dark.”

Cooper and her husband, Ernie Rogers, live on a stretch of Wrightsboro Road in McDuffie County that has a curve in the road. That curve has claimed a few trucks in its day. The other thought that crossed her mind was a truck had overturned in the roadway causing the noise.

Rogers said the plane was traveling east, hit the tops of pine trees in the adjoining property before crashing head on into the pine trees lining their driveway.

A plane crashed in the pasture of The Augusta Press columnist Sylvia Cooper Rogers this morning. Photo by Ernie Rogers

The plane took out four large pine trees and left a considerable amount of jet fuel in her pasture, Cooper said. It did not burst into flames.

As of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, no other investigators were on site except the sheriff’s department.

A small plane crashed in McDuffie County this morning. Photo by Ernie Rogers

Cooper said the deputy told her the road would be blocked most of the day.