A single-engine airplane making an emergency landing near Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island struck and killed a man on the beach at about 6:10 p.m. Monday, according to an official with the Hilton Head Fire and Rescue Division.
The plane experienced engine trouble over the water about an hour and a half after leaving Orlando Executive Airport in Florida, bound for Norfolk, Va. The aircraft was flying at about 13,000 feet when air traffic controllers told the pilot to land at Hilton Head Airport.
But before the male pilot and his male passenger reached the island, oil began to leak onto the windshield, blocking their vision, said Joheida Fister, Fire and Rescue Division spokeswoman.
Then, the plane's propeller came off. The men decided to make an emergency landing on the beach, she said.
"They were really shook up," Fister said.