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06-21-2013, 11:49 AM
Owner of Big Booty (http://www.teambigbooty.com/team.php) The Grand Prix 42 out of Charleston, South Carolina was killed in a private plane crash yesterday, the Post and Courier (http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130621/PC16/130629874/1177/coroner-confirms-local-executive-patrick-eudy-died-in-plane-crash-that-also-killed-idaho-man) Reports

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McCLELLANVILLE — Telecommunications executive Patrick Eudy, a man well-known in the Lowcountry sailing community, died in the plane crash that also killed a flight instructor Thursday in a swampy area north of Charleston.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Eudy, 44, of Mount Pleasant died in the crash, along with Robert Ulrich, 69, of Idaho.


Pat Eudy died in Thursday's plane crash near McClellanville. Photo provided.


Rockwell Turbo Commander 690 is the type of plane that is believed to have crashed near McClellanville Thusrsday. Courtesy of FlightAware (flightaware.com) Courtesy of FlightAware
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Ulrich was an flight instructor who reportedly was accompanying Eudy Thursday during on a routine outing so Eudy could get re-certified on the aircraft that crashed.

Eudy was president of Matthews, N.C.-based American Broadband, which operates telephone, cable television and broadband networks in rural markets throughout the U.S. Its website shows it has operations in Alaska, Missouri, Louisiana and Nebraska. He was a cofounder of the company in 2003.

According to 2006 profile of Eudy in the Charlotte Business Journal, he was a Durham, N.C., native and a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate who dreamed of running his own company.

Before starting American Broadband, he was an executive with Charlotte-based FairPoint Communications Inc., one of the nation’s largest rural telephone company operators.

Eudy also was head of Nighthawk Air LLC of Matthews, N.C., which owned the Rockwell International 690B, an 11-seater with two engines, that crashed, records show.

Friends said he owned a home on Kiawah Island and was living most recently at The Tides in Mount Pleasant. Eudy was a father of four.

Friend John Bowden, a member of Eudy’s Big Booty sail racing team, said Eudy got into sailing about seven years ago and developed a passion for racing on the water. He had sailed around the country and along the East Coast, providing numerous opportunities for fellow sailors along the way, he said.

“He just jumped into it with both feet,” Bowden said. “He did a lot for the sailing community and a lot for the local sailors. He made a lot of opportunities happen for people.”

Bowden said Eudy was an experienced pilot who had flown for several years and owned three planes.

He had owned the Rockwell for three or four years and was very familiar with the plane, Bowden said. Thursday’s flight was just so he could get re-certified on the aircraft, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent agents to the scene of the crash and expect them to be there all day today marking the scene, officials said.

The plane will then be moved to a hangar for further investigation, according to NTSB officials. Witnesses said a small plane was seen spiraling toward the ground just south of McClellanville around 5 p.m. Calls to 911 dispatchers sparked a massive search for the wreckage.

One caller who lives on Highway 17 said she, her husband and his co-workers all heard the plane, then the crash. A copy of the call was released Friday after The Post and Courier filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

“I heard an airplane making very peculiar noises,” the caller told a Charleston County dispatcher. “The motor of the plane was acting up, then we heard a crash.”

The plane was found a couple of miles past the end of South Tibwin Road, in a former rice field near the Intracoastal Waterway.

It’s a swampy area full of alligators, snakes and mosquitoes. Searchers had to build temporary bridges between patches of high ground to get in with their all-terrain vehicles.

The plane apparently barreled through the woods for 140 feet. The damage path was 10 feet wide.

Deputies and rescuers reported smelling fuel at the site, but no hazardous material was spilled, Awendaw Fire Department Battalion Chief Fred Tetor said later.

The plane left the Johns Island Executive Airport at 4:30 p.m. on what was supposed to be a 53-minute flight to Georgetown and back.

Motorists on U.S. Highway 17 called 911 to report seeing a plane going down near the Intracoastal Waterway.

Residents heard the crash.

Ruthie Merritt, who lives on Lofton Road, said she heard what sounded like a propeller plane in the air, then a loud noise.

“It was just one big boom,” Merritt said.



Dave Munday, Andrew Knapp, Schuyler Kropf, and John McDermott contributed to this report.