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Pilot of Cirrus SR22 aircraft dies in fiery South Carolina crash

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The pilot of a Cirrus SR22 GTS Turbo single-engine private aircraft was killed on Friday, April 27, 2012 at about 1:00 p.m. local time after his plane nose dived into the ground at Anderson Regional Airport in South Carolina while practicing touch-and-go landings, reported on that date by the Aviation Safety Network, The Anderson Independent-Mail, Fox News, and other sources.

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Pronounced dead at the scene was 58-year-old William "Bill" T. Hayden of Cincinnati, Ohio, who died from blunt force trauma, according to the coroner. Mr. Hayden leaves behind a wife and three grown children.

Also injured as a result of the accident was flight instructor Bill Settle, a friend of the Cirrus pilot who had logged over 4,000 hours flying similar Cirrus aircraft and other types of light planes.

He had worked as a regional training manager for Cirrus Aircraft based in Duluth, Minnesota, covering twenty states from the Midwest to Florida, before retiring from the company in 2011.

Mr. Settle had exited the ill-fated plane to watch Mr. Hayden practice taking off and landing. After the accident, he rushed to the still smouldering wreckage and received second degree burns during rescue efforts.

According to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore, the fatal accident happened during the second of three touch-and-go landing maneuvers. During such exercises, a pilot touches the plane’s wheels to a runway and almost immediately lifts off again.

As Mr. Settle described the fatal crash, Hayden had just performed a touch-and-go clearing the end of runway 17L before climbing steeply, stalling and rolling into the ground, as seen in the attached slide show and video clip which accompany this report.

Anderson Regional Airport (AND) is a public airport located 3 miles southwest of Anderson, South Carolina in operation since 2007. It has two paved runways, the longest of which is 6,001 feet in length.

As reported by the Aviation Safety Network database, the Cirrus SR22 has been involved in 112 accidents since April 24, 2002, 69 of which have involved fatalities.

Both the FAA and the NTSB are investigating this accident.

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