The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed that the February 20 crash of a Beech Premier IA at Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU) in Georgia (30 miles west of Augusta) occurred as the jet attempted to go around and did not involve a runway overrun, as local officials had initially reported. Five of the seven people aboard the aircraft were killed. Both pilots survived, suffering serious injuries.
NTSB member Robert Sumwalt told reporters on February 21 that the aircraft had discontinued an approach to the 5,000-foot long Runway 10 at HQU when it struck a 60-foot tall cast-concrete utility pole a quarter mile east of the airport, shearing the left wing. The aircraft scattered debris for 100 yards before coming to rest in a wooded area half a mile east of the airport. The Runway 10 ILS system was in operation at the time of the accident.
Sumwalt said while the wreckage was almost completely destroyed by fire, investigators are sure the aircraft was fully intact before impact. A local source told AIN the weather was good at the time of the accident (around 8 p.m.) and that the aircraft narrowly missed striking a manufacturing plant.
The 15-member NTSB Go-Team is expected to be on site in Thomson until today to interview witnesses to the accident and review a video recorded by an airport security camera.