07/22/11 155 W, 1 I - + 4 - 4 Yesterday's Plane Crash in Harnett County

We don’t see many plane crash photos (much less plane crashes) in these parts, and this image is unusually candid. As posted by WRAL, it depicts people among the wreckage of a Cessna 182 that crashed in the Cape Fear River while approaching the Harnett Regional Jetport1. One person was killed, and a reported second person was aboard, condition not known. Contact was lost with the craft on Wednesday night, and it was located by a Civil Airport Patrol plane on Thursday afternoon. Read the story. Readers to the south, what sort of emergency response resulted, after discovery? 

Greg Clark / WRAL photo

1There's a jetport in Harnett County? Yes, since 2006, when the airport was renamed after a runway was extended to a length that permitted business jets to land. Next question, is the jetport big enough to require fire apparatus on site?

The jetport is the home of small private jets, nothing huge. The State SBI has two jets out of here with local, more "well off" owners filling up the rest of the hangers. Buies Creek Fire Department does house a bulk storage of foam on site and is less then a mile from the site, but no special ARFF is on site for this jetport. The call was dispatched as a request for a water rescue at 615 Airport Road in Buies Creek. Dispatch then advised that a plane has crashed in the river and what was believed to have been subjects at the end of the runway. I think that Buies Creek 802? was command with Harnett County ES1 as Deputy command and they found the incident was going to be easier to handle from the other side of the river. Area commands where then est. and it sounded like the plane was still leaking oil or fuel still with the water rescue teams on scene attempting to contain same. Command was later transfered from Buies Creek to Harnett County Sheriff’s Office. The crash was into the river with Buies Creek and Summerville protecting this area, but the easier access was on the Summerville side, so this is where most of the operations took place.
HarnettFF - 07/23/11 - 10:12

The Federal government agencies along with the proper local agencies have currently assumed responsibility for all operations & investigations. Yes, what do you know we have an good sized airport in Harnett County! It has been around for many years, but received several upgrades in systems and as mentioned a rather major runway & tarmac overhaul that was completed in 2006-2007. Several small single engine planes use this airfield as well as local high rollers who have small jets & as mentioned the SBI has a hanger on site. There are current plans for more large hangers to be built which construction should start before long. The runway is also a emergency runway for military aircraft and they are normally in the area 3-4 days a week practicing various manuevers. There is no current requirement for specialty fire apparatus on site, but BCFD is in the process of getting specialty equipment in place. Currently there is 50 or 100 gallons(?) of foam provided by Harnett Co. for incidents at the facility. There is also at least 10 gallons on the engines that would respond to the scene & they are all responding out of Buies Creek Fire Department w/ combination staffing which is located less than 2 miles away. Hopefully in the future some type of small crash rescue apparatus will be put into service, but the question right now is where to store it, who should pay for it (county or department) from their budget, staffing for said apparatus, & training costs that come with said equipment. It is a nice facility and some day it may grow more to maybe allow some small commercial flights easing congestion at some of the bigger airports in the area. Final note, I think it was last year when the airport wanted to extend a zoning requirement that would have put a stop to building within 1.5 or 2 miles of the runway making the Harnet Regional Jetport 1 of only 2 or 3 with such requirements in the Country. This was stopped by taxpayers in the area who would have taken major cuts in property value. Was that a step at trying to grow more or just looking out for safety? Who knows what is in store? Mike maybe you can dig up some information, was the airport started for private use & then the county bought it out or was it something else. If you get time see what you might can find out. I have always remembered it being there & never paid it much attention till all the renovations a few years back.
BCFF - 07/24/11 - 23:58

Buies Creek Fire Department responded to a reported water rescue as a result from a plane crash into the Cape Fear River at 15:51 on Thursday, July 21st. Buies Creek Fire Department arrived to find that a plane had crashed into the river and 802 was command. The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office had arrived on the scene from the other side of the river and advised that the access was going to be easier from the Summerville side of the river. Due to this information, command was transfered to the Sheriff’s Office due to information that was gathered about the crash involving the time frames and condition of the passengers. The Harnett County Underwater Dive/Water Rescue Team, Harnett County EM office, Harnett County FM office, Harnett County EMS, North Carolina State EM, FAA and the Civil Air Patrol assisted in this operation. The incident turned out to be a learning experience for all parties involved and Buies Creek Fire Department would like to thank all that assisted in this tragic and unusual incident. —- To answer the fire protection question: Buies Creek Fire Department is 2.14 miles door to door from the office of the jetport to the fire station. The fire department and the county have 100 gallons of foam stored at the jetport along with Buies Creek storing 100 gallons at the fire station. Also, Lillington Fire Department (7.58 miles from the jetport) has 150 gallons of foam (100 gallons on a Service/Rescue Truck and 50 in the station ready for use), and are on the alarm card for the incidents at the jetport. Leaving 350 gallons of foam within 15 minutes of an incident, would hopefully handle any life hazard issues until we could assume defesive operations at any large fuel fire or jet/plane crash at this location.
BuiesCreekFD (Web Site) - 07/26/11 - 02:34

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