April 05, 2004, Johns Island, S.C. / Smith Aerostar 601P


At 1526 Eastern time, a Smith Aerostar 601P crashed during its initial climb after takeoff from the Charleston Executive Airport, Johns Island, S.C. The commercial pilot and the airline transport pilot-rated passenger received fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. Before the takeoff, the pilot reportedly requested maintenance on the airplane. A witness stated the pilot told him he wanted to fly the airplane to another airport to have the problem looked at before returning to Florida. Later, another witness watched the takeoff, noting that the aircraft appeared to rotate really late, using approximately 4000 feet of runway. He stated the airplane climbed to about 400 or 500 feet, then spun to the left, making three complete turns before disappearing behind the trees.


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