Pilot dies after plane crash near Lee County airport
Posted September 25, 2011
Updated September 26, 2011
Sanford, N.C. — 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.
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.