NTSB to release plane crash report in about a week

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the single-engine plane that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach Tuesday.

A preliminary investigation report will be released in “approximately a week,” according to NTSB spokesman Terry Williams.

The department had previously said it was gathering information, and Williams said Thursday the NTSB would investigate the Mooney M20R that crashed near Myrtle Beach State Park.

A field investigation could be handled by the Federal Aviation Administration if the NTSB doesn’t go to the scene, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen via email on Wednesday. She said information gathered by the FAA would be forwarded to the NTSB.

Williams said the NTSB, working with the FAA, has been gathering information and pilot records and plans to release a preliminary investigation in a week.

Williams said the department will interview the pilot and witness and check if weather played a role.

He said the full report would take a year to be released.

The man piloting the Mooney M20R, who was its sole occupant, was rescued by first responders when he crashed about 5 p.m. into the water, a half mile off the coast, according to the FAA.

Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Tom Gwyer said the plane took off from Myrtle Beach International Airport before crashing into the ocean.

Attempts to contact the pilot Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Bergen said the FAA isn’t involved in removing the plane from the ocean, and Williams said that decision will be left to the family.

“The aircraft owner’s insurance company is responsible for removing the aircraft from the water, if it’s in an area that’s shallow enough for the aircraft to be removed. The FAA doesn’t remove aircraft from accident sites,” Bergen said.

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian