UPDATE – NewsChannel 6 spoke with Daniel Field Airport Manager Becky Shealy. She told us, “It was an unfortunate situation, but the pilot did the best possible thing that he could do.”
She recounts the day the multi engine plane landed on runway 11 and crashed into the fence. She said she was out of town, but the photos at the scene told it all.
She added, “I think anybody that has eyes to see can see that it was a miracle. Pilots are trained. That’s one of the things that as a pilot you’re trained for emergency maneuvers. I can’t even begin to speculate what happened.”
But a case report filed with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office details what happened from the pilot’s perspective and even a witness. The person manning that aircraft at the time was 76-year-old Robert Stuntz Jr. He told a deputy that he was coming in to land and that engine failure caused him not to be able to stop after touching down on the runway. Our cameras captured the fence the Beechcraft Baron broke through until it came to a rest on Highland Avenue.
“He did exactly, probably the best thing you could have done in that situation,”Shealy said.
The runway where Stuntz tried to land has re-opened and Shealy said the fence damaged in the crash has been repaired. The report also names a vehicle damaged by the fencing during the incident. There are no reports of that driver being harmed and the pilot had minor scratches on his head.
NewsChannel 6 learned that Stuntz is a licensed pilot with an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with multi engine land rating.
“He’s a very accomplished pilot, has thousands of hours and I trust him,” Shealy added.
She also told us the FAA will be at the airport Wednesday. That investigator will take a report and submit it to the NTSB to determine what caused the incident.
We will continue to follow this story.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – NewsChannel 6 just learned who was flying the plane that landed and crashed at Daniel Field Airport Sunday.
A Richmond County Sheriff’s Office case report from that day states the pilot of the aircraft was Robert Stuntz Junior. Stuntz told authorities he was traveling eastbound, across the airport, when he had engine failure. He said he was coming in to land at the time and stated that the engine failed causing him not to be able to stop after touching down on the runway.
Stuntz was flying a Beechcraft 58P aircraft that NewsChannel 6 learned was registered to local business Eagle Parts & Products and Frank Dolan.
Stuntz went on to say the aircraft broke through the east perimeter fence by Highland Avenue and pulled the fence to the other side of Highland Avenue, where the aircraft came to a rest.
Additionally a car traveling south on Highland Avenue from Wrightsboro Road was hit by fencing during the incident.