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Pilot dies after plane crash near Lee County airport

Posted September 25, 2011
Updated September 26, 2011

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— A man who was burned badly in a plane crash near the Raleigh Executive Jetport early Sunday afternoon has died, Sanford police said.

Kirk Aragon, of Apex, was flying an experimental plane – a Velocity RG with tail number N360TV – when it crashed near Breezewood Road, which dead-ends near the end of the jetport's runway, around 12:45 p.m., police said. 

Lee County plane crash Apex man killed in Lee County plane crash

He was flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where he died late Sunday evening.

No one else was in the aircraft.

Police said heavy smoke was showing when crews first arrived.

"I heard a loud boom and I thought it was thunder," said witness Ludella Lindsey. "I looked outside and I saw that smoke was going up in the air, dark smoke."

Lindsey said she and her sister ran out to the scene and helped pull the burning clothes off Aragon's body before paramedics arrived.

"He was just begging for help. (My sister) went and got a towel and covered him up because she had to pull his clothes off because he was on fire, all over his arm, his whole body was burning," she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what caused the crash. The Raleigh Executive Jetport was formerly called the Sanford-Lee County Regional Airport.


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  • 2323 Sep 26, 2011

    Pseudonym... ouch, uncalled for. Divebuddies/Dawn had every right to say what she said. you should have just let her comment go and let her grieve, instead of probably ticking her off now too.

  • rhowerton Sep 26, 2011

    ""So Sorry For The Lost Of This Pilot, May God Be With The Family & Friend's & The 2 Sister's That Tryed To Help, May God Be With You Through This

  • esprg Sep 26, 2011

    Good job w/the 2 sisters who helped him & at least tried to comfort him.

  • Chuck U Farley Sep 26, 2011

    Dawn - Very sorry for your loss. I was Kirk's next-door neighbor at the airport for several years and am very saddened by the news.

    I don't speculate on accidents until the NTSB has produced the facts, and suggest that others do the same.

  • WritNEWlaws Sep 26, 2011

    I am so sorry for this familie's loss. My prayers are with the family and to the sisters who acted as angels. God Bless

  • fletchjhome Sep 26, 2011

    The pilot was a great friend and neighbor and a wonderful father to two small children. He loved to fly and died doing what he loved to do. We will miss him much --

  • spirona Sep 26, 2011

    I worked with Kirk for several years. Anyone who talked with Kirk for more than two minutes realized right away what a kind and thoughtful person he was. I am very saddened to hear of this horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Kirk, his family, and friends. May he rest in peace.

  • paginasecunda Sep 26, 2011

    foxtrot - if you are an FAA investigator working on this, you have no business posting your suspicions here. If you are not an FAA investigator working on this, you should stick to the facts given, rather than making up random causes to pick at the FAA; not only are they most likely not correct, but also very unhelpful and potentially harmful.

  • NH Sep 26, 2011

    Praying for the family and everyone else involved. So tragic and sad; I am so sorry.

  • foxtrot7 Sep 26, 2011

    The cause of the accident is probably the aircraft engine, a Lycoming would be my guess. They are not built to a modern standard, ie magnetos and carbs, but so far that is all there is. The FAA, not the most alert group, will list 'pilot error' rather than coduct a proper investigation.