Flight expert says mid-air crash happened outside controlled air - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Flight expert says mid-air crash happened outside controlled airspace

"The important part for the aviation community is to learn from that, and grow from that, to mitigate future accidents, and for the public to understand that we as aviators do take from that. we learn from that and we grow," aviator Jeremy Bass said. "The important part for the aviation community is to learn from that, and grow from that, to mitigate future accidents, and for the public to understand that we as aviators do take from that. we learn from that and we grow," aviator Jeremy Bass said.
Joseph Johnson (Photo Source: Facebook) Joseph Johnson (Photo Source: Facebook)
Photo Source: Viewer Submitted/Facebook Photo Source: Viewer Submitted/Facebook

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Officials say the plane that crashed to the ground Tuesday afternoon was headed to the Myrtle Beach area carrying a Moncks Corner man and his father.

Officials are still searching for the pilot, 30-year-old Joseph Johnson, but they did find the body of his passenger, and father, 68-year-old Michael Johnson, following the mid-air crash that brought an F-16 and a small plane crashing to the ground Tuesday afternoon.

In Wednesday's press conference regarding the crash, officials say the 68-year-old was found by an SCDNR boat. His son, Joseph Johnson, was the one flying the private plane that collided with the military plane. Right now a helicopter, drones, and dive teams are searching for the pilot. As the NTSB team continues the investigation into what caused the crash.

Myrtle Beach aviator Jeremy Bass says there is a very small chance the pair would have seen the military plane coming, meaning there would be little to no time to respond.

"If he was cruising, he would have probably only been flying 80 to 90 miles per hour, maybe 100 miles per hour at the most, versus an F-16 is going to be traveling somewhere between 250 to 300 knots - upwards of 300 miles per hour," Bass explained.

Bass says because of that difference in speeds, and the fact that the F-16 is built to be sleek, it probably went from being a speck in the sky to a serious collision.

"It seems like there is an infinite amount of sky. How can that happen especially when you do have air traffic controllers watching your back, calling traffic, that type of thing? It's just one of those odd and unfortunate instances," Bass said.

Bass says because Joseph and Michael Johnson were flying a small, private plane, it's very possible they didn't submit a flight plan or speak with anyone on a radio before take off.

"If they would've spoken to someone, it was before they entered Myrtle Beach's air space," Bass explained. "They would have spoken to the air traffic controllers here, but they could have flown all the way here without taking to anybody," Bass explained.

Bass says this flight would have been perfectly legal. He explained as long as conditions are clear, and there are no major cities around the airports, many pilots depart and land as they please, and it's likely a transmitter box wouldn't have been on in the plane either.

"It pings back and forth and it tells air traffic control where that plane is physically located, how high they're flying, what altitude they are flying, they're not even required to have that," Bass said.

Bass explains this is because the two were flying in uncontrolled air space. Though he feels this is a tragic loss for the aviation community, Bass believes there is a lesson to be learned.

"The important part for the aviation community is to learn from that, and grow from that, to mitigate future accidents, and for the public to understand that we as aviators do take from that. we learn from that and we grow," Bass said.

Bass says usually the NTSB releases causes and reenactments of accidents within 30 days.

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