Two die in flying boat crash near Isle of Palms (update: preliminary investigation, 'loops')

Image by Flickr user dirk huijssoon A plane/boat hybrid similar to the one involved in Wednesday's crash.

Update August 11: Twenty days on from the accident that lead to the deaths of Lucas Smith and Cara Lee Donohue, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released preliminary information on the investigation.

Below are key excerpts from that report that provide more context on what likely unfolded:

Witnesses to the accident stated to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office representative that they observed the flying boat perform an aero-loop and started to perform another loop. 

When the flying boat was at the top of the loop, inverted, at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet above the water, the wing folded. The flying boat dropped straight down into the shallow water. 

Moments later sea vessels approached the wreckage to aid the two on board; one was trapped in the wreckage and the other was located floating in the water. 

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated that the pilot did not hold a FAA pilot license. The pilot required, at minimal, a sport pilot license to operate the flying boat. 

Update: The names have been released: Lucas Smith, 40, owner of Pelican Dry Cleaners in Mount Pleasant, and Cara Lee Donohue, 27. I'll point you over to NBC News 2 for some more details.

Also The Post and Courier has followed up with a lengthy profile on Smith, who hew was, his flying water craft, and Donohue. Take a read of the final chapter over here.

First reporting, July 21: A man and woman died yesterday after an ultralight-style water-landing Zodiac plane crashed near Dewees Island.

The accident happened just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20.

The deceased have been identified as Lucas Smith and Carly Donohue, and judging by the community's reaction thus far, those that died were quite well-known.

As you'd expect, many similar reports abound; my preferred video report comes by way of NBC News 2 (watch that here) and The Post and Courier for a written variant (read that here).

We'll be sure to keep you updated.

Filed in