Witness: Pilot not experienced with grass runways before crash

Timmonsville, SC - TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Witnesses who spoke to a pilot following a hard landing on Sunday in Timmonsville claimed he had never landed on a grass runway, which have led to the accident.

Investigators with the Florence County Sheriff's Office were called to a location on US-76 Sunday after a Cirrus SR22 plane, operated by Phillip Brown of Sanford, NC, overshot the runway at Huggins Memorial Airport.

Roger Blackman, who has helped operate Huggins Memorial for 10 years, said this isn't the first time he has seen an accident like the one on Sunday. Blackman said pilots have to land slower and lower in order to land on a grass surface safely.

"[The plane] has a tendency to slide a whole lot easier than asphalt because you have less traction there," Blackman claimed. "He slid probably 100 yards on the other end."

Blackman said when Brown made his decision to touch down, he was too far ahead on the runway to get power to enter the air again, so he slammed on the brakes and tried to make a stop.

The Federal Aviation Administration has only released a preliminary report into the accident. It stated the aircraft ran off the end of the runway, but did not give an exact reason. The FAA's investigation into the cause of the crash could take months to complete.

In the meantime, the plane is being kept at the back of the Huggins Airport until the FAA gives permission to move it.

On Monday, Blackman was out trying to make sure the plane would be ok there until that happens.

"We're just trying to stabilize it so that it'll be OK for them to come look at it," he added.

Brown was flying to Timmonsville for training at the time of the accident.

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