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Plane piloted by Virginia Beach (VA) man was low on fuel, investigators say

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Mado McDonald, a Virginia Beach (VA) small-plane pilot whose plane crashed in South Carolina earlier this month, told controllers he was low on fuel, The Associated Press reported.

McDonald had flown the Raytheon Beechcraft King Air 200 twin-engine aircraft from Norfolk International Airport to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in Greer, S.C. for maintenance at Stevens Aviation.

The crash came the morning on Nov. 9 during what was described by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal as a “service ride,” not unlike taking a car for a drive with a mechanic after a repair.

Investigators found just half a gallon of fuel in the plane’s tanks after the crash, the Herald-Journal said, and eyewitnesses saw the engines “feathering” – going so slow the propeller blades were visible – just before the crash.

The plane crashed onto a highway just short of the airport grounds. Stevens Aviation technicians Ed Wilk and Derrick Holliday have both been released from the hospital, The AP reported, while McDonald remains in good condition at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

The plane is registered to MDTR Holdings LLC of Virginia Beach, The Virginian-Pilot reported, a corporation that shared the same address with the ECPI College of Technology.

The latest revelations come as part of a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The technicians told the NTSB that the plane took off with just 400 pounds of fuel in it, according to the AP report. The plane crashed just 19 minutes later.

No one on the ground was injured.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

(MM)