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UPDATE: Small aircraft's chute deployed before it sank in Lake Murray according to eyewitnesses

Lake Murray, SC 01/13/2022 (Paul Kirby) – Shortly before 2:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Lexington County’s 911 Center received a report that an aircraft had gone down in Lake Murray. This was in the area of Taylor’s Cove and Fiddlers Branch Roads off US Hwy 378 north of the Town of Lexington. 911 telecommunicators immediately dispatched multiple units from Lexington County’s EMS and the fire service. They also sent deputies and boats from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to this call.

The first fire officer to arrive tried to position himself so that he would have the best vantage point from the shore to see if he could sight the aircraft. His first reports indicated that he could not see the aircraft, but he did see the sheen of an oil or fuel slick atop the water. In a matter of moments, he was informed by people on shore that the occupants of the airplane had escaped, made it to the shore, and someone had picked them up in a vehicle.

When the first boat from law enforcement arrived, it was confirmed that fuel was escaping from the downed airplane. Telecommunicators immediately began the process of notifying the proper environmental agencies regarding this.

We have since received details from an eyewitness that said the aircraft was a Cirrus which is a model equipped with an emergency parachute. In the event of an emergency that causes this plane to stop operating at altitude, the plane's parachute can be deployed and that softens any impact when the aircraft comes back to earth. In this case, eyewitnesses are saying the chute did deploy and the aircraft floated gently to the surface of the water where the two occupants escaped before it sank.

Please check back later for updates as more information becomes available.

PHOTO: General area of Lake Murray where the aircraft went down.

PHOTO CAPTION: The emergency chute of the aircraft just after impact with the waters of Lake Murray. Photo for The Ledger by Brian Staples


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