Crash cause called likely mechanical

The flight was supposed to be an introductory lesson, showing the returning student the basics of handling the controls and monitoring gauges while in flight. But something went wrong.

Instructor Dennis Rumley and student Brent Abshier took a single-engine Cessna airplane up for the first flight in a required 40-hour training but crashed into a field near County Line and Combs roads in Greenwood about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Students get to take over the controls even on that first flight but would be limited to basic maneuvers such as keeping the plane level or executing a turn, said Tom Jeffries, owner of Jeff Air Pilot Services flight school, which leases the plane that crashed and employs Rumley.

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