Four well-known contesters en route to operate the CQ World Wide DX Contest this weekend from Bahamas were killed yesterday when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from South Carolina. The four, all regular operators of the C6APR contest station, were identified as Peter Radding, W2GJ/C6APR, the pilot; and passengers Ed Steeble, K3IXD/C6AXD; Randy Hargenrader, K4QO/C6AQO, and Dallas Carter, W3PP.
According to the local Summerville Journal Scene newspaper, the plane crashed 250 yards east of the runway at Summerville Airport in Jedburg, South Carolina. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, but Radding was a very experienced pilot. County Coroner Chris Nesbit told the newspaper that it appears the four were killed by the severity of the crash itself rather than the fire that followed. Autopsies are scheduled for today.
CQ WW Contest Director Bob Cox, K3EST, called the crash, "a real tragedy," adding that "devoted hams and contesters were lost." The C6APR team was featured in the cover story of April's WorldRadio Online, and Steeble wrote an article in the April, 2007 issue of CQ about his experiences as QSL manager for C6APR and for a special Islands on the Air expedition, W2GJ/C6A, in 2006. As of this morning, comments from hams around the world had been posted on the Journal Scene's website.
Additional details on this story available on the ARRL website at
This is a tremendous loss to the amateur radio community and our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to Peter, Ed, Randy and Dallas' families who were lost in the crash.