MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – According to a preliminary accident report released by the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane ditched in the ocean on May 9 has not been recovered.
The NTSB report confirms that a privately owned and operated Mooney M20R was ditched in the ocean around 4:30 on May 9 after the pilot realized the engine had stopped. The pilot was not injured, but the plane was not recovered and is “presumed substantially damaged.”
The report states that a salvage company tried to locate the submerged plane, but could not find it.
The plane took off from MYR and was destined for Charleston, South Carolina. The pilot told investigators that about 300 feet in the air, he “felt a strong jolt, as if something had hit [the airplane]” and seconds later discovered the engine had stopped. He communicated he had an engine issue with the tower controller and landed the plane in the ocean near Myrtle Beach State Park. The report states the plane initially floated in the water and the pilot stood on the wing until the plane began to sink. A tour helicopter dropped him a life preserver and he rescued by an individual on a jet ski soon after.
The preliminary accident report did not make mention of what actually caused the plane’s engine to stop.