Local News

Pilot Walks Away After Small Plane Crashes At RDU

Posted November 10, 2006

— A small plane crashed Friday morning while trying to land on a general aviation runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, authorities said.

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    A single-engine C1 Evolution, registered to WA Air in Fayetteville, landed nose-first at around 9:15 a.m., damaging the front and back of the aircraft, authorities said.

    The pilot, Jason Dearaujo, somehow lost control of the plane during landing, RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said.

    Dearaujo, 23, was able to walk away without serious injury. Dearaujo is a Realtor who was traveling from Fayetteville to Raleigh. He was transported to WakeMed as a precaution and was released a few hours later.

    "The good thing is there was no smoke and no fire. So, whenever there is an airplane crash and that doesn't happen, it's probably a good sign," said Diego Alvarez, who has been in the airline industry for 20 years and watched RDU's response to the crash.

    Tim Jackson of Signature Properties in Fayetteville, who owns the plane, said Dearaujo is an instrument-rated pilot who owns his own plane. Jackson said Dearaujo could not find the keys to his own plane, so he leased another one.

    Jackson said the plane is likely totalled, but he said he was just thankful Dearaujo escaped serious injury.

    The runway closest to Terminal A was shut down for nearly 30 minutes, but Hamlin said commercial flights weren't delayed for more than five minutes.

    "We didn't have any major impact on flights going in and out of the airport because flights were able to take off on the west side of the airport," she said.

    Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive in Raleigh by Saturday to investigate the crash.

    The last small plane crash at RDU happened in September 2005, when the nose of a Cessna 172 collapsed while the plane was taxiing on the runway. The pilot was the only person on board, and he was uninjured.

    A few months earlier, another Cessna missed a runway on approach and crashed in a wooded area near Umstead Park. The pilot and her husband walked away from that crash as well.

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