Local News

NTSB Investigators Sort Through Evidence In Edgecombe County Plane Crash

Posted June 10, 2003

— Federal investigators continue to sort out the details surrounding a small plane crash that killed three people outside Rocky Mount Sunday.

The

National Transportation Safety Board

(NTSB) said the four-seater Piper PA-44 Seminole was being used for a training mission that began at Raleigh-Durham International and was headed to Rocky Mount when it crashed in a cow pature near Battleboro.

Using a crane, NTSB investigators loaded the wreckage on a truck Monday to take it to their regional office in Atlanta for further study.

Officials said all three people on board were experienced pilots.

Irene Anderson, 46, of Mooresville; Joshua Burgess, 24, of LaHabra, Calif.; and Elizabeth Kernes, 26, of St. Albans, W. Va., were killed in the crash. Anderson's dog also died in the crash.

Officials with Airline Transport Professionals, the company that owns the plane, confirmed that Burgess was a flight instructor, but would not release any other information. He received his instructor's permit exactly one year before the crash, federal records show.

The women, licensed pilots who were former flight attendants, were taking a four-day course on flying multi-engine planes.

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Investigators were not sure who was the controls at the time of the crash.

"It's a fact-gathering part right now. That's pretty much what we do," NTSB investigator Eric Alleyne said. "We have the airframe manufacturer out there. We have the engine manufacturer out there."

On Tuesday, Edgecombe County officials were expected to reopen a two-mile stretch of Battleboro-Leggett Road that has been closed since the crash.

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