In the battle between a whitetail deer and a Department of Homeland Security jet, neither won. The deer is dead and all that remains of the jet is part of the cockpit and nose.
Just before noon on Saturday, a plane identified as a Cessna C550 (Citation II) jet hit a deer with its left wing as it was landing at Greenwood (SC) County Airport. After hitting the deer, the plane burst into flames. Fortunately, the pilot and the sole passenger were able to exit safely.
It appears the plane belonged either to DHS or to the Border Patrol. The news stories are somewhat conflicting on this. However, Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis did say that it carried surveillance equipment.
Davis could not identify the type of plane or where it came from, but said that it carried sophisticated surveillance equipment that can be used in a variety of operations – including border control and marijuana eradication operations.
Now I wonder just what they planned on “surveilling” in the Upstate of South Carolina. Maybe they were looking for the moonshine still of Bill and Josh who star on the Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners. Or maybe they just happened to be landing at the wrong airport at the wrong time. I guess we’ll find out when the FAA who are reported to be investigating the crash release their report.