News Archive

(4904) Week of Dec. 8, 2004

Plane crashes near West Pelzer
Civil Air Patrol Searches finds Emergency Transmitter
Photos of crash scene
Change in water billing could save town money
Thieves strike town, EMS
Delinquent payments threaten insurance coverage, again
Winter Fest offers holiday activities, craft items, parade
New organization to help meet local needs
Area residents plead quilty to counterfeiting
District One schools receive “Excellent” grades
Middleton applies for pardon

Change in water billing could save town money

Williamston Town Council approved a resolution allowing the Anderson Regional Joint Water Association to change a billing practice that could save the town money.

Council unanimously approved a resolution that allows the ARJWA, which provides the town’s water, to base charges on the actual use rather than billing the town based on an allocated amount.

Under the old agreement, the town paid for water it didn’t need or use because the allocated amount in the contract included having additional water available to the town to cover future growth needs, Mayor Phillip Clardy said.

According to Water Department Head Tim Hood, the change in the  billing practice will save the town approximately $4,000 based on last year’s figures.

Clardy said the agreed amount of water to be available for Williamston will cover the highest water usage day of the town and includes current industry use while allowing for some overage.

The Town’s water usage is currently based on just over one million gallons a day, Hood said.

If the town should exceed the set limit, additional gallons of water will be billed at a higher rate under the new contract.

Council unanimously approved second reading Monday on a business license ordinance amendment to include certain types of insurance companies and allow billing by the Municipal Association.

Council then went into executive session to discuss a legal question with the town attorney.

Upon returning to regular session, council approved the sale of equipment from the Town’s old water plant to the Town of Walhalla.

The items being sold are of “no use to the town,” Clardy said and will be used for parts by the City of Walhalla, which has the same equipment.

Williamston’s water plant was shut down about 8 years ago when the town began purchasing water from the Duke Water System plant located on Lake Hartwell.

In a special presentation, Keith Rhodes presented members of the Williamston Sesquicentennial Committee with 3 DVDs featuring events held during the town’s 150th celebration in 2002.

The DVDs include the kickoff and cruise-in, the 2002 Springwater Festival and the 911 memorial service held at the Palmetto Football stadium.

Rhodes said he was presenting the DVDs to the committee at no cost to the town. “It is a gift to the town and the committee,” he said.

Anyone interested in purchasing copies of the special event can purchase one DVD of either event for $25, 2 for $45 or all three for $65, he said. For more information, call 847-8282.

Town offices will be closed Dec. 23-24 for the Christmas holidays and Dec. 31 for the New Year holiday, Clardy said.

Delinquent payments threaten insurance coverage, again

The Town of Williamston is experiencing financial pressure as the result of an ongoing cash flow problem, and the result is that town employees are on the verge of losing health insurance coverage being provided through the town.

The town has again exceeded a deadline for payment set by the South Carolina Local Government Assurance Group, the organization which provides the town’s insurance.

In a strongly worded letter dated Dec. 3 which was sent to Williamston councilmembers and Mayor Phillip Clardy, Harvey Mathias, Director of Risk Management Services for the South Carolina Municipal Assocation, states that payment on an outstanding premium which was already extended one month, has not been made.

“Nov. 30 has come and gone, and not one dime was paid in November,” the letter states.

The town was granted a 30 day extension, (until Nov. 30) for the balance of money owed for the health benefits program through the SCLGAG.

The Town was late on several payments earlier this year and had insurance cancellation threatened at that time.

According to the letter, the SCLGAG Board of Trustees met and thoroughly discussed the dilemma concerning the Town of Williamston’s employees’ health coverage.

“While the last thing we want to do is put your employees and their dependents in a position of having no medical coverage, some of which they themselves have paid, SCLGAG cannont continue to provide coverage without payment.”

The SCLGAG board agreed to extend the deadline for payment of all outstanding amounts owed, now including the December 2004 invoice, until Dec. 31. The total amount owed is $87,205. 97

Mathias stated in the letter that “if payment is not made by the extended deadline, then cancellation of coverage will be effective as of November 30, 2004, the date of which you were earlier advised. Medical Claims Management Corporation (MCMC) had been instructed to pay no claims with a date of service after Nov. 30, until such time as all outstanding monies have been paid.”

According to Mathias, the town is also being put on 12 months’ probation beginning January 1, 2005.  “If payments due on the first day of the month and past due on the 20th, are not received by the 20th of each month, then coverage will be cancelled at the end of that month, no questions asked,” the letter states.

The letter urges Mayor Clardy to “please understand that this is SCLGAG’s final position regarding this matter.”

“We are very sorry the town of Williamston has encountered its financial difficulties and SCLGAG has “Bent over backwards” to help, but it has been grossly unfair to the other SCLGAG participants that the Town has not paid its monthly premiums like everyone else.”

Mathias said Wednesday that there had been no payment since the letter was sent to town officials.

“We pretty strongly indicated we are at the end of the line,” he said.

“Hopefuly we will be able to resolve the outstanding balance,” he said.

The Journal reported in August that the town has been as much as $90,000 in arrears with the Municipal Association insurance provider which provides the town’s property/liability, workers compensation and health insurance coverages.

At that time the town was only $5,489 behind with a premium coming due.

The town’s insurance coverages were again in jeopardy and under the threat of cancellation in October. A town employee was sent to Columbia to pay delinquent payments on the town’s insurance to prevent cancellation at that time.

A payment of $17,686 was made to cover the workers compensation premium and another payment of $38,477 was made to cover the town’s property liability through the end of the year.

Remaining unpaid was the town’s health insurance premium. The town sent payment enough to cover only half of the $81,726 due October 1 for employees health insurance coverage.

The Town began receiving correspondence from the Municipal Association as early as July 26 advising that timely payment on the insurance premiums should be made.

Williamston Town Council began discussing borrowing as much as $565,000 as early as June 28.

In September, Council approved first reading on a bond anticipation note of $400,000.

Mayor Clardy said Wednesday the town is going to meet obligations including the insurance premium payment which is due by the end of the month.

“We met with one bank this morning and have met with others to get the best rates,” Clardy said.

Clardy said the town is exactly where it was predicted it would be in June when the borrowing proposal was first presented to Council.

Clardy said even though the BAN was approved in September, there is a 60 day waiting period for issuance of bond notes.

Clardy said, if council had acted earlier, “We would not be in the situation we are now in.”

Clardy said the town will move forward and will get through the difficult financial period.

 

Thieves strike town, EMS

The Town of Williamston and the Williamston Rescue Squad as well as several businesses were victims of thieves last week. Williamston Police Officers investigated the following incidents:

Dec. 4 - Kevin Smith, 17, 4116 Six and Twenty Rd., Williamston, reported unauthorized withdrawals amounting to $743 made from a CCB bank account. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Dec. 3 - Faith Lynn Henson, 26, 148 Lebby St., Pelzer, was arrested for assault and battery and breach of peace after an incident at Gus’ Palmetto Grill, 104 Greenville Dr., Williamston.

Nov. 30 - Harold Maurice Dean, 47, 9 Washington St., Williamston, was arrested for breach of peace after being observed at 211 East Main St. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Nov. 29 - Employees with the Town of Williamston reported a battery charger and air tank valued at $290 taken from the city maintenance shed, Minor St., Williamston. J. T. Motes, J.H. Kirby investigated.

Nov. 29 - Marty Evans, Williamston EMS, 902 Anderson Dr., Williamston, reported 2 walkie-talkie radios valued at $1,650 taken from the supervisors office at the location. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Nov. 29 - Mario Garcia, 39, 116 Tripp St., Williamston, was arrested for breaking into a motor vehicle and resisting arrest after officers found him with tools  in a 2001 Ford Mustang at Main St. Motors. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Nov. 25 - J. C. Guyton, 43, 303 Mauldin St., Williamston, reported a .380 handgun valued at $200 taken from a 1998 Toyota Tacoma glove compartment. Sgt. J. T. Motes investigated.

Nov. 25 - Jimmy Arnold Adams, Jr., 42, 403 E. 22nd St., Anniston, Alabama, reported a Verizon wireless 4400 cell phone valued at $150 taken from a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup while it was parked at 20 Parker St., Williamston. J. T. Motes investigated.

Nov. 24 - Rushton Owens, 33, 102 Tripp St., Williamston, reported items valued at $250 including an X-Box, 2 ammunition magazines and a 410 cal. shotgun  missing from the residence. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Nov. 24 - Officers were dispatched to Ken’s Used Appliance, 525 W. Main St., Williamston, to investigate a possible stolen vehicle.  Upon arrival they found a blue pickup truck valued at $999 had been backed into a ditch. Witnesses reported a man wearing light colored pants, a sweatshirt and ball cap was observed driving the truck. The man ran from the vehicle, they stated. J. L. Barnes, K. P. Evatt investigated.

Nov. 25 - Jose Francisco Campos, 32, 106 Terrapin Dr., Williamston, was arrested for no drivers license and open container after a Honda 4-door was observed on Prince St. making a turn without a left turn signal. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Nov. 23 - Debra Thompson, Main St., Motors, 612 Greenville Dr., reported a mobile electronic sign valued at $12,000 missing. The sign was rented from L&J Signs in Anderson. Z. E. Gregory investigated.

Nov. 21 - Johnny Lee Campbell, 42, 6813 Hwy. 29 North, Pelzer, was arrested for assault and battery after an incident at 52 Jehue St., Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Nov. 20 - Kevin Terry Pitts, 31, 126 Crosby Dr., Fair Play, was arrested for no tag light, driving under suspension, operating an uninsured vehicle and no vehicle license after an Isuzu pickup truck was observed on Academy St. with a tag light not working. J. L. Barnes investigated.

Nov. 19 - An employee at Fast Fuel, 207 W. Main St., Williamston, reported a cell phone valued at $200 taken from the store. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Nov. 10 - A 16-year-old male student at Palmetto High School was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after allegedly selling 3 Lortab pills to a student who then gave them to 3 other students. Two other students were involved or knew about the transaction, reports state. Cpl. D. W. Bryant investigated.

Nov. 17 - Jerry Lester Sims, 43, 124 Compton Rd., Belton, was charged with resisting arrest and failure to stop on command after being observed at Main St. Motors, 612 Greenville Dr. Sgt. K. P. Evatt investigated.

Nov. 14 - Tommy Woods, 30, 104 Yellow Stone Dr., Greenville, reported an oak curio cabinet, dinette table and 6 chairs, total value of $800, missing from a rental residence at 38 McAlister Dr., Williamston. B. L. Lewis investigated.

Nov. 27 - Ronald Mellott, 58, 712 Anderson Hwy., Williamston, reported a trailer valued at $1,900 missing. B. L. Lewis investigated.

Nov. 5 - David Delonigan Dyal, 39, 3 Smith St., Pelzer, was arrested for an outstanding bench warrant after being observed in a Honda Accord at the intersection of West Main and Minor St.. J. H. Kirby investigated.

Winter Fest offers holiday activities, craft items, parade

Piedmont area residents will have a full day of holiday events this Saturday, Dec. 11 beginning with the annual Christmas parade which will be followed by the Winter Fest event. And to top things off, a horse drawn carriage ride will be offered Saturday and during the month of December.

The events are being sponsored by the Bonnes Amies Club and Pride in Piedmont.

The Piedmont Christmas Parade will get things started at 11 a.m. 

This year’s theme is “Christmas Treasures.” Grand marshals will be Piedmont’s “national treaures,” veterans of any war.

Organizers of the parade will pay tribute to veterans by having a special parade float for them to ride on and a reception will follow at the conclusion of the parade. Veterans of any war are invited to participate.

Entry fee is $10 per float. Deadline for entry is December 4. Trophies will be given to bands, cars, commercial floats, religious theme floats and best over all theme float.

To volunteer or for more information call Betty White at 845-5543 or Maxie Freeman at 244-3435.

The parade will begin on the Anderson County side of Piedmont at Hwy. 86 and Old River Rd., and will continue to the triangle of Greenville St., and Hwy. 86.

The Bonnes Amies Club invites the surrounding community to participate in the parade or come out and help make this the best Piedmont Christmas Parade ever

If you are looking for some special activities to get in the holiday mood, check out Winter Fest 2004 which will be held in downtown Piedmont saturday following the Piedmont Christmas parade.

Winter Fest activities will be held from 12 noon to 7 p.m.

More than 40 crafters are expected to participate offering Christmas shoppers a large variety of handmade craft items.

 Greenville crafter Babs Martin will offer special pressed flower creations available on wedding invitations, note cards, Christmas ornaments, candles, bookmarks and framed verses or sayings.

Martin’s work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Decorating magazine.

Crafters from North Carolina and Georgia as well as local crafters will offer hand painted items, Christmas decorations, crocheted items, unusual gourd art, wood and leather crafts and much more, organizers said.

Winter Fest will also include holiday entertainment from Sue Cleveland Elementary Chorus, Wren Middle School Drama, Powdersville Middle School Strings and Wren Elementary Chorus.

Life Church outreach will be doing skits and Life Next Generation Youth will perform.

Horse-drawn carriage rides through the Piedmont “village” will be offered during Winter Fest. Rides will be $5 per person.

There will be a craft workshop for children and Santa Claus will be present, organizers said.

Parents can leave their children at the children’s corner while they shop at the craft fair.

Children can make their own holiday craft choosing from a different activity each hour.

Scheduled crafts for the day include: 1 p.m. - tree ornaments; 2 p.m. - photo frames; 3 p.m. - Christmas decorations; and 4 p.m. - Christmas door hanger.  Space will be limited to 12 children each hour so organizers urge parents to sign their children up  when they enter the craft fair.

Teal Photography will also offer professional portraits with Santa. 

Activities will be centered in the historic Piedmont Community Building, downtown Piedmont.

The holiday event is sponsored by the Pride in Piedmont organization.

The Pride in Piedmont organization will also sponsor horse drawn carriage rides each Friday and Saturday evening in Piedmont during December.

Beginning Dec. 4th, carriage rides will be offered at 6 p.m. each Friday and Saturday except Saturday Dec. 18 and Dec 25.

Area churches are encouraged to join in the spirit by caroling in the streets of Piedmont during the month of December.

The Bonnes Amies Club will sponsor an outside Christmas decorating contest for residents of the Piedmont area on Saturday, December 18.

Participants are asked to light up their home and/or yard with holiday decorations. 

Winners will be recognized with a sign placed in the yard. To be included in the judging just turn on your lights.

For more information call Betty at 845-5543 or Lorri at 269-7876.

The Piedmont Fire Department will be accepting donations for the Needy Family Fund at traffic lights in the Piedmont area December 9 and 10 and also on December 16 and 17. With the closing of local plants, demands for assistance are expected to be especially high this Christmas, a spokesperson said. Donations may also be dropped off at the Piedmont Fire Department. For more information call (864) 845-6817.

New organization to help meet local needs

Sue Cleveland Elementary School students have collected thousands of cans of food to help those in need over the holiday season.  They will pull wagons loaded with collected food items from the school to the Piedmont Fire Department on December 9, at 8:30 am. 

Students from the class that collected the most food will lead the parade, following a Piedmont Fire Department fire truck. 

Local leaders will accept the donations.  

The creation of the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center (PERC) will also be announced.  PERC organizers are using this opportunity to urge the community to donate food and money.  The primary need is for heating and shelter.

With the closing of the Delta Woodside Estes plant November 20, one of Piedmont’s largest employers is leaving the area.  About 400 employees already working a downsized schedule may have difficulty providing food, shelter, and medical care for their families.

Local community leaders were already discussing the establishment of the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center before the Estes plant closing was announced.  Now the children of Sue Cleveland Elementary School are motivating PERC to open, organizers said.

Doantions to the new relief organization can be made payable to: 

The Piedmont Emergency Relief Center, Piedmont Fire Department, 3 Highway 86, Piedmont, S.C.  29673.

Donations of food and clothing can also be made at the Fire Department.  The greatest need is for money for utilities and medical care, organizers said.

In the 1870s Piedmont was the cradle of the textile industry in Greenville.  The first large-scale textile plant in the area was built there. 

Without Piedmont, Greenville would never have become the “Textile Capital of the World.”  Now with textile plants leaving the area, this historic area is finding itself needing help. 

With the help of Strong Communities and the support of the Piedmont Fire Department, the Piedmont Ministerial Association and others, the Piedmont Emergency Relief Center will be there to help those in need not only for the holiday season but for the long term.

The Piedmont Emergency Relief Center will not only provide emergency relief but also will guide citizens to other resources for medical, educational, and other services, organizers said.

Area residents plead quilty to counterfeiting

Three area residents have pled guilty to possessing and distributing counterfeit currency according to a press release from United States Attorney J. Strom Thurmond, Jr.

Lionel Rojas, 45, of Piedmont, Joseph Outz, 25, of Williamston and Christy Jackson, 32, of  Greenville, all pled guilty last Wednesday to conspiracy to possess and distribute counterfeit U. S. currency.

United States District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr., of Anderson, accepted the pleas and will impose sentences after he has reviewed presentance reports which are being prepared by the U. S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing showed that in early summer of this year, a co-defendant, against whom charges are still pending, was manufacturing various denominations of counterfeit currency in a camper in Rojas’ backyard.

Outz and Jackson, along with two other co-defendants, who also have pending charges, knowingly accepted various amounts of the counterfiet currency from the manufacturer and passed the bills, or attempted to pass the bills, at several locations in the Upstate.

According to Thurmond, the maximum penalty the three defendants can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years. A special assessment of $100 can also be added.

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney William C. Lucius of the Greenville office handled the case.

District One schools receive “Excellent” grades

South Carolina report cards for public schools across the state showed 14 schools of Anderson School District One to be in the “Good” and “Excellent” range of the state reporting system with seven of each rating. 

For the third year in a row (all years of the report card system), District One has received the top mark of “Excellent” for its “Absolute Performance” rating, and for the first time, “Excellent” for its “Improvement Performance” rating as well.  Statewide, Anderson One is one of only five districts to receive ratings of “Excellent” and “Excellent.”

The “Excellent” rating is an affirmation of the work put in by our students, teachers, and administrators as they have once again met the high expectations for student academic achievement that we consider to be an Anderson One tradition,” said Dr. R. Wayne Fowler, Superintendent of Anderson School District One. 

“We have been pleased in the past with our ratings, but this year is very special in that the achievement bar has been raised.  We have the data to demonstrate solid academic improvement across the district,” Fowler continued.  “Some of our schools have been recognized on the state level for closing achievement gaps that persist among various student demographic groups.  This reminds everyone of our belief that academic success is possible for all students.”

Absolute report card ratings are determined by different factors at the various age and grade levels of schools. 

At the primary level, schools made up only of kindergarten through second grade, the absolute ratings are based on student attendance, pupil-teacher ratios, parent involvement, external accreditation, and professional development of educators. 

Elementary and middle school absolute ratings on the report card are determined by the performance of students on the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests (PACT). 

PACT tests assess student progress on established academic standards in the core areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, however, ratings are based only on the scores associated with ELA and Math. 

High school ratings are based on student performance on the state Exit Exam (BSAP/HSAP), the percentage of students eligible for state sponsored Life Scholarships, and graduation rates. 

District “Absolute Performance” ratings are based on the overall percentage of students meeting standard on the state’s standards-based assessments while “Improvement Performance” ratings are based on a comparison of students’ performance to the previous year’s for the purpose of determining student academic growth.

David Havird, Associate Superintendent for Administration and Personnel, stated, “Recruiting and retaining the very best teachers available has been a source of our district success.  Our teachers and administrators are constantly working towards improvement of instruction to meet the needs of all children.  By doing so, Anderson One has remained among the leaders in assessed areas of student academic success.”

“Technology advancements such as our recent implementation of eduTest, a software system that allows for meaningful regular assessment of student strengths and weaknesses, along with district wide efforts to encourage reading improvement have been conducive to Anderson One’s success,” added Jane Harrison, District One Director of Elementary Education.   “We expect this success to continue even in the face of the annual raising of achievement levels in order to remain ‘good and excellent’,” Harrison stated.

“Anderson School District One has been able to continue successful after school learning centers with increased student participation in tutoring and academic enhancement efforts at all levels.  These efforts occur before, during, and after school hours as well as in the summer.  Recently released HSAP results placed us among the top districts in the state, and we fully expect to continue this trend in all areas,” said Dr. John Pruitt, Director of Secondary Education for Anderson One.  “Implementation of new instructional methods and techniques to meet the needs of all students is a key to our success.”

“The continued dedication of Anderson One faculty and staff to meet the needs of students willing to learn and anxious to reach new academic heights with the active support of a concerned and committed school board will help us to continue our district tradition of excellence,”  Dr. Fowler concluded.

Middleton applies for pardon

Marion Middleton, Sr., has again applied with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Service for a pardon.

Middleton, 75, will be considered for pardon on January 5, 2005 at 2 p.m. at the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, 221 Devine Street, Columbia, according to information sent to the Town of Williamston.

Middleton was unanimously turned down by the board on his first request in 2003. He needed the vote of four of the seven members to be pardoned.

Middleton submitted the first application for pardon in November 2002, Just three months after he pled guilty to embezzling $76,000 from the Town of Williamston during his term as mayor. He served 46 days of a 90 day sentence, receiving early release due to a work-credit program.

Persons requesting a pardon must complete an application, submit three letters of reference, and pay a $50 application fee.

Under state requirements, Middleton could apply for a pardon once his sentence was served and full restitution was made. Under the terms of sentencing, Middleton’s probation ended upon payment of the restitution.

The Town of Williamston received a restitution payment of $76,000 in 2003, prior to the first pardon request.

According to state law, a person receiving a pardon is “fully forgiven from all the legal consequences of his crime and his conviction.” Persons pardoned may register to vote and vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, and be licensed for any occupation requiring a license.

Letters may be written to the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, P.O. Box 50666, Columbia, S.C. 29250.

 

Plane crashes near Big Creek reservoir just off Hardwood Road

Local emergency responders were first on the scene of a plane crash which killed three people last Thursday when a single engine corporate plane crashed just off Hardwood Road, near the Big Creek Reservoir just outside West Pelzer and Williamston.

Killed were Accu-Pad owner Harry Alton Mooore, 53, of Anderson and freelance flight instructor Scott Burdick, 43, of Greer. Both men were pilots and were in the front of the plane. The passenger was Accu-Pad co-owner Brian Shepherd Winstead, 46, of Anderson.

The plane, a Diamond DA40 model registered to Anderson based silicone products maker Accu-Pad Inc., was on its way from Jacksonville Fla., to the Anderson Regional Airport but was diverted to the Donaldson Center Airport because of bad weather, authorities said.

The plane apparently clipped a guide wire and the top of several medium size trees, before striking the ground and disintegrating in a "catastrophic impact," killing the occupants instantly, Anderson County Public Safety Director Tommy Thompson said.

The remaining wreckage of the plane continued approximately 75 yards into an open field, leaving a debris field of about 500 feet. The engine came to rest about 50 yards away from the wreckage.

Several area residents said they heard the plane sputtering and then heard the crash.

Those who went to see what had happened soon realized an airplane had crashed and said they found the occupants deceased.

Emergency personnel from Williamston Fire Department and Williamston EMS, West Pelzer Fire Department, Pelzer EMS and Anderson County Sheriff’s deputies were first to respond to the scene.

Anderson County Sheriffs deputies, the S. C. Hwy. Patrol, Anderson Haz-Mat  were soon followed by  Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore, Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors and others.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, authorities said.

 


Plane wreckage 1


Plane wreckage 2


Plane wreckage 3


Hardwood Road


Tree clipped


Place wreckage 4


Plane wreckage 5


Tree clipped 2


Impact area


Plane wreckage 6


Impact area 2

 

 

 

Civil Air Patrol searches for, finds Emergency Transmitter

Ground Team Units from the Greenville Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol were tasked Thursday evening with locating the Emergency Distress Transmitter at the crash site of a single engine plane in Pelzer, which claimed the lives of three people. 

It had previously been reported that there was no distress signal from the aircraft.  AFRCC, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia received a distress signal at approximately 5:22pm.

 It was determined that the coordinates given to the Civil Air Patrol by the AFRCC was that of the light plane crash in Pelzer. 

Six Members of the Greenville Squadron headed by Lt Lee Moore arrived at the crash site at 8:19pm in total darkness and heavy thunderstorm conditions. 

Guided by local law enforcement into the crash area two search teams scanned the site with specialized locating equipment for the aircraft distress signals. 

The activated transmitter was located in the fuselage wreckage under one of the seats at 8:41pm.  The transmitter was deactivated and returned to its original location inside the wreckage.

The AFRCC uses SARSAT (Search and Rescue Satellites) to locate distress signals from aircraft as well as ships and personal distress beacons. 

Satellites continuously scan over the United States and report these signals back to AFRCC.  Coordinates and signal information are given to Civil Air Patrol for search and rescue efforts to begin.

Civil Air Patrol, the official Air Force auxiliary, is a nonprofit

Organization and has almost 62,000 volunteer members nationwide. It performs 95% of all continental inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of Federal, state and local agencies.

The members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 27,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for more than 60 years.

For more information about the Greenville Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, see www.greenvil.scwg.cap.gov <http://www.greenvil.scwg.cap.gov> .

 

 

 

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