Authorities are investigating after a single—engine plane with oil on its windshield hit and killed a man on a Hilton Head beach as the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing.

The man was walking or jogging along Palmetto Dunes when the Experimental Lancair IV—P plane hit him, said Hilton Head Island fire and rescue spokeswoman Joheida Fister.

The plane started leaking oil at about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) and tried originally to make it to Hilton Head Airport, Ms. Fister said. The oil on the windshield blocked the pilot’s vision and he told authorities the propeller came off the plane.

When he tried to land on the beach near the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa, the plane hit the beachgoer and came to rest a little farther down the beach, she said.

“I would have to say it’s pretty unusual,” Ms. Fister said.

The names of the man killed, pilot and passenger on the plane were not released. Neither was injured, Ms. Fister said.

FAA records show the aircraft was registered to a Virginia man.

The four—seater plane has a turbine engine, can be built from a kit and can fly up to 370 mph (595 kph), according to the Lancair Web site.

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