More details released about Georgetown County plane crash

The plane crash that killed a pilot from West Virginia has been ruled accidental, according to the preliminary report on the crash by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Based on eye-witness accounts, the pilot, John Prince Harris, 79, of Charleston, West Virginia, had radioed the Georgetown County Airport that he was coming in for approach on July 29.

He was executing an aileron roll, a 360 degree roll, right before the crash, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to witnesses, Harris made a high-speed flyby over the runway. At the end of the runway, the plane pitched up 30 degrees and started the aileron roll to the left, according to the preliminary report.

Witnesses said the first 180 degrees of the roll was uneventful.

When the plane reached the 190 degree point, it pitched down to the right and collided with the ground, according to the report.

An explosion followed, along with a plume of smoke.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane that crashed was a decommissioned military aircraft known as a Folland Gnat T 1. It was a fixed wing, single engine, two-seat aircraft manufactured in 1963.

The registered owner of the plane was Foogair Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware.

A flight plan was filed for the flight that departed from Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia.

Harris was on his way to visit family in Georgetown when he crashed, according to Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson.

He was the only person on board the plane.