Plane crash pilot's condition improves

The condition of a pilot who crashed his small airplane into a North Augusta roadway Sunday has improved.

Denise Parrish, spokeswoman for the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said today that Samuel C. Hart, 61, of the 800 block of River Bluff Road, has been upgraded to good from serious condition.

Mr. Hart reportedly suffered a broken wrist and leg when his single-engine Rutan VariEze he was piloting smashed into Interstate 520 between Belvedere Clearwater Road and Ascauga Lake Road, a North Augusta Public Safety report.

He was having engine trouble and decided to land the airplane on the unfinished portion of I-520, which is under construction, the report said.

“As the victim approached the roadway for the landing, the plane struck a power wire that was crossing the interstate and then struck a pole for a road sign,” North Augusta Public Safety authorities wrote in the report. “The plane traveled approximately 100 feet before striking the ground.”

Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, confirmed Monday that her agency was investigating the crash. Authorities from the National Transportation Safety Board are also investigating.

The public safety report said he had his airplane towed to Twin Lake Airfield after the crash.

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