MONROE — Michael Branch of Charlotte and Randy Hinson of Mooresville were flying a twin-engine plane to Myrtle Beach, S.C., Saturday, when Branch complained of chest pains.
Branch, 47, tried to turn the plane around after taking off shortly after noon from Monroe Airport, according to Capt. David Simpson of the county public safety office.
As Branch collapsed, Hinson took over the controls, apparently trying to land the plane on a service road. Instead, the plane came down among some trees.
Branch was dead on arrival at Union Regional Medical Center. Hinson, 53, was treated and released.
A witness saw the plane go down and notified authorities. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.