Based on eye-witness accounts, the pilot who died in Monday's crash was executing an aileron roll, a 360 degree roll, right before the crash, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.
The pilot, John Prince Harris, 79, or Charleston, West Virginia, had radioed the Georgetown County Airport that he was coming in for approach and then executed the roll.
When he was in the upside down position, Knudson says, the plane went down.
The crash happened off Highway 17 South just south of the airport.
Harris was on his way to visit family in Georgetown when he crashed, according to Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson.
Harris was the only person on board the plane.
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.