Local News

Couple survives fiery, small-plane crash in horse pasture

Posted November 25, 2009

— Sheriff's deputies believe a married couple is lucky to be alive after they put a small plane down for an emergency landing in a horse pasture near the Chatham-Durham county line Wednesday.

"It's absolutely amazing when you show up on the scene, and you say, 'Who was flying the plane?' And the pilot says, 'I was,'" Capt. Roy Allen, with the Chatham County Sheriff's Office, said.

Two survive fiery plane crash Two survive fiery plane crash

The fixed-wing, single-engine Cessna 170B crash landed in the pasture, off 7691 N.C. Highway 751, south of Seagrove Supply, around noon.

Kent Misegades, who owns the plane, said his friends took off from Cox Airport in Apex, headed to Charlottesville, Va. Shortly after, though, the plane's engine started running roughly, and smoke and flames filled the cockpit.

"There was something wrong with it as low as he was flying,” said Thomas Killett, who saw the plane come down.

"I heard the plane just spitting and sputtering, and then I looked up, and I saw it," said Don Council, who lives nearby. "I could tell he was coming down, and I knew he wasn't going to make it far."

The plane crashed through a fence and caught on fire, officials said.

"That is when the flames came out of it (plane) and it exploded," Killett recalled.

Council said he rushed to the crash site. "By the time I got there, the whole front end of it was flames," he said.

"It's on fire real good," a caller told 911 dispatchers.

Local firefighters put fire-resistant foam on the plane and put out the blaze. Residents gathered up horses in the pasture, and state troopers diverted traffic around the scene.

"We saw the smoke coming up in the field, so we jumped in the car and ran down there to check it out," Kama Williams said.

Williams said the couple on board was walking around when they arrived on the scene.

The couple wasn't injured but their names were withheld, pending an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, Allen added.

Misegades said he was glad to lose his plane and keep his friends.

"He did the right thing. He made the right decision," Misegades said. "An airplane is a chunk of metal. That's what insurance is about."

His friend who was at the plane's controls is an experienced pilot who flew in the Vietnam War and for an airline and now teaches flying lessons, Misegades said.

Allen credited the pair with making a good landing under tough circumstances.

"I think both of them said they were happy to be alive. They are very thankful," Allen said. "This Thanksgiving is going to be extremely special for both of them."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ladyblue Nov 26, 2009

    I think someone sent some extra wings to land that plane and allwo those people to get out.

  • US VET Nov 25, 2009

    My mistake ,, I just don't drive south that much...

  • US VET Nov 25, 2009

    Where does Durham county and Chatham county meet???

  • teacher-mom Nov 25, 2009

    I am glad the story has a happy ending. I wonder why the couple did not want their names published?

  • hollylama Nov 25, 2009

    This was great news to read to end my work day! Happy Thanksgiving to all... and remember GIVE THANKS!

  • DangYankee Nov 25, 2009

    The owner of this plane lives on the block that backs up to my house. He is one of the founders of Thales Academy in Apex, and has written on Cary politics on conservative blogs.

  • Travised Nov 25, 2009

    Only thing you can find out from public record is the aircraft registration. Who the owner is, last inspection, if it is up to date. Many birds are owned by "clubs".

    Same with cars. Many states you can pull up plates if you go to the states DMV site on your computer from home. Most people don't know that.

    I find it amazing that media will post the tail# of the aircraft in cases like this, but almost NEVER publish the plate of a CAR in accidents. No difference. Both are how they are registered with the departments. Only thing is cars are more common. People would scream is their plates were shown on the TV.

    You realize how the media handles the stories differently.

  • paginasecunda Nov 25, 2009

    WRAL - thank you. You have handled this far better than you have handled other aircraft accidents in the past.

  • kpic24 Nov 25, 2009

    Raleigh should be thankful their are so many experts (aircraft, schools,roads) that visit this site every day:) glad their ok.

  • I know some stuff Nov 25, 2009

    Faced with an inflight emergency, I could a) pray, b) fly the plane inaccordance with learned piloting procedures. I opt for B.
    regarding the questions of WHO...google the 'tail number', the FAA website tells you who Owns it, and typically for private planes, they too pilot it. This plane is owned by a man who lives in west end of Cary near Hwy.55/High House rd.