UPDATE: One Dead after Plane Crash in Claxton Area

Update 4/15/24 at 3:20pm – Pilot identified. The pilot was identified as 45-year-old James Evan Scarlett.

The FAA has released a preliminary report on the crash of a Piper PA32R on Friday around 4:30pm. The plane crashed under unknown circumstances. There was only one person on board, that person was killed in the crash. Originally it was reported that there were two people on board.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the reasons behind the crash and will update us when they find the reasons.

According to Flightaware.com the plane arrived around 3:30pm into Knoxville from St. Petersburg, Florida. The plane then took off from McGhee Tyson airport at 4:17pm headed to Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The last contact with the plane was at 4:34pm.

The plane was owned by Thunderbird Air, LLC. of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a fixed wing, single engine plane. A Piper, PA-32R-301, manufactured in 1993.

Sample Photo of a Piper PA-32-301 Saratoga II, produced from 1980-2007. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

FAA Accident and Incident Notification

Aircraft Make:PIPER
Aircraft Model:PA32R
Highest Injury:FATAL
Aircraft Missing:No
Total Fatal:1
Flight Crew10000
Cabin Crew00000
Flight Phase:EN ROUTE (ENR)
Aircraft Operator:
Flight Number:
Entry Date:15-APR-24
Updated since entry:No


Press Release from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Services Agency, Emergency Medical Services and Claxton Volunteer Fire Department Released at 3pm 4/15/24

On Friday April 12th, at approximately 1617, a Piper PA-32 Saratoga departed McGhee Tyson Airport en route to Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids Michigan.

At 1643, Anderson County 911 Communications Center, received a 911 call from a citizen on Tillery Road stating they heard a low flying aircraft and a loud noise shortly after. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene on Tillery Road, and located various parts to what appeared to belong to an aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the Anderson County 911 Center received a notification from Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) of an Emergency Location Transmission (ELT) in the area of Highway 25W and Edgemoor Rd. Crews from Anderson County Emergency Management, Anderson County Emergency and Rescue Squad, Anderson County Emergency Medical Services, Claxton Volunteer Fire Department, Oak Ridge Police and Fire Departments, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to Incident Command Post to coordinate a response to locate the downed aircraft.

At 1632, the aircraft was located by Tennessee Highway Patrol and foot units, at 429 Gadsontown Ln. Powell, TN with one (1) deceased victim on board. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Board (NTSB) were contacted to confirm that the downed aircraft was located. The body of the deceased individual was taken to Knox County Regional Forensics Center to conduct further examination.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Emergency Management Agency, and Claxton Volunteer Fire Department coordinated with the FAA and NTSB to recover debris from the area. The recovered aircraft will be taken back to Atlanta for further examination.

If a member of the community locates any remaining pieces of the aircraft please contact the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office at (865)-457-2414.

Previous story

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of an airplane crash this afternoon (Friday, April 12, 2024) in the Claxton community. 

At 5:12 pm, deputies responded to the call in the Tillery Road area to search for plane parts in residences yard. It was also reported that callers heard a crash. Parts of the plane were also found in the Ashley Lane area along with luggage. The Anderson County Emergency Management Agency, the Claxton Volunteer Fire Department, Anderson County Rescue Squad, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol Helicopter units arrived and assisted in the search. The plane was located in the woods near Gadsontown Ln. Authorities request that everyone please chose an alternate route to avoid the area while rescue operations are still underway. The Federal Aviation Agency will be in charge of the investigation.

We will release more information as it becomes available

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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