Pilot of death plane was a farmer without any flying licence

An American farmer with no flying licence was at the controls of a small homebuilt plane when it crashed, killing all five people on board in south Georgia last week.

The pilot of the ill-fated plane which killed five on crash landing was a farmer who didn't have a flying licence

The pilot of the ill-fated plane which killed five on crash-landing was a farmer who didn't have a flying licence Image by Bob Adams / CC BY 2.0

Since the accident, an eyewitness has told investigators that she saw the light plane weaving up and down perilously close to tree tops.

The New York Daily Post reports that the report of the National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t yet identified a probable cause of the crash near the town of Alma, situated 100 miles from Savannah. However the preliminary findings said that a study of the craft’s engine and accessory parts showed no evidence of a mechanical defect.

The pilot was named as Waylon Boatright, a farmer who owned the four-seat RV-10 aircraft. It was confirmed that he had not filed a flight plan for his journey from Bacon County Airport. The plane crashed six miles from take-off at 3.40 am.

The plane is an RV-10 - a single-engine aircraft - come s in the form of a home assembly kit. The dead pilot had received certification to build and repair the plane five years ago but did not have a licence to fly it.

The Board said there was no pilot logbook recovered so they still were unsure of the pilot’s total flight experience.

A witness who had got up out of bed for a drink of water said she saw the plane going up and down in a zig-zag pattern 'not much above the tree line.'

The 38-year-old pilot was a local farmer of blueberries and other crops. It is understood the other victims were his close friends but it is still not clear why they were flying in the middle of the night.

Related content