Local News

Authorities Find Second Victim Of Cary Plane Crash

Posted May 5, 2004

— Divers will be back at a Cary lake for a third day Wednesday, looking for more clues into a deadly plane crash.

Rescue divers located a second victim of Monday's single-engine plane crash Tuesday afternoon near the bank of the lake. Another body was located hours after the crash.

The plane is registered to Jerome and Carolyn Kurtz of Arizona, but officials have not identified the remains.

Debris, including the plan's motor, was also recovered. The fuselage has not been located, but investigators believe it is probably in pieces.

Officials said the four-seat single-engine Mooney M20M went down in the middle of a lake near the Brampton Moors apartments, located off West Chatham Street Monday afternoon.

About 3 p.m., the plane's pilot radioed the tower at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The tower noticed the plane was in distress and anticipated an emergency.

Just 5 miles from the airport, the plane suddenly veered off course and crashed into the lake behind the complex.

Authorities said the pilot made two attempts to land the plane, but aborted both attempts. The plane clipped trees and barely missed the apartment complex before crashing into the lake and breaking apart.

Neighbors rushed to help.

Erik Power watched the plane go down outside his apartment. He jumped into the water hoping to find survivors.

"It was already down when it hit the water, I saw it go in. It was moving pretty fast," Power said. "I saw pieces of debris, floating seats. I felt around to see if I could feel anyone. I found the flight manual and some personal belongings."

Fragments of the plane landed just 20 feet from the buildings. Officials say the debris field is about 200 yards wide, mostly under water.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the scene Tuesday to conduct their investigation. Cary officials plan to continue draining the lake to help with the investigation.

Investigators said an investigation into this type of crash can take six months to a year to complete.

The plane was headed to Raleigh from Columbia, S.C. It was made in 1991, and according to National Transportation Safety Board records, had not been involved in any incidents.

The Mooney M20M has a pretty good safety rating over the years. NTSB records show 11 crashes involving the plane over the past 10 years.

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  • May 3, 2004:

    One Killed After Plane Crashes In Cary Lake

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    Kamal Wallace

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