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Two killed in Guilford County plane crash

Posted March 30, 2011
Updated March 31, 2011

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— Two people died when a small plane crashed into a house in High Point Wednesday evening, federal officials said. 

A Beech BE 58 aircraft was traveling from Wilmington to Winston-Salem but was diverted to Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro due to weather, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

The plane crashed in the Frazier Downs subdivision about three miles from the airport shortly before 6 p.m. It clipped one house and crashed into another on Dairy Point Drive, igniting a fire which firefighters quickly got under control.

"I just heard a big boom, and fire just blazed out," said next-door neighbor Kay Yarborough. "I thought somebody had hit my back porch. I didn't know what it was."

The two people on the plane – the pilot and a passenger – were killed. Their names were not released. 

Everyone inside the house hit by the plane managed to escape, and no one was in the house clipped by the plane. plane crash high point Plane crashes into High Point home

Carl Hall Jr. said he and his wife, Angie, saw a man bring two boys and a girl out of the front of the house, away from the garage where the plane hit.

"They weren't in that area," Carl Hall said. "That's probably what saved them."

Angie Hall said the children, who were upset, were taken to a neighbor's home.

Debris was tossed across the cul-de-sac, landing in neighbors' yards. Carl Hall, who lives about 150 feet from where the plane went down, said he saw an engine in the middle of the street and the fuselage of the plane sticking out of the back of a home.

"It was chaos over here," Angie Hall said. "Everybody's running and screaming, trying to make sure the neighbors are fine. I'm shaken up. A little scared. It really scared us a lot over here."

The crash shook the ground at the home of Pam Willoughby-Ray, who lives about a quarter-mile away from the scene.

"We heard it; it sounded like a sonic boom," she said. "We were eating dinner, and my mother said, 'What, did a plane engine fall on the house'?"

The National Transportation Safety Board will look at many factors, including weather, to determine the cause of the crash, Bergen said. The National Weather Service said heavy fog in the area reduced visibility to as low as a quarter of a mile.

Air traffic controllers knew they had a problem after trying to reach the plane with no response. 

“We’re stopping everybody. We’re not moving. I'm not hearing you right now. Do what you got to do, but we're not moving anybody until we find that airplane or they call us," the controller could be heard saying in a recording of traffic conversation obtained by WRAL News.

Charlotte-based Jet Logistics, which operated the plane, said it was working with the NTSB in the investigation of the crash. A statement from the company extended thoughts and prayers to "those affected by this tragedy."

On the day of the crash, the plane had been flown from Raleigh to Winston-Salem, then to Wilmington before setting off to Winston-Salem again, according to flight records. 

19 Comments

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  • QTC Mar 31, 2011

    Listening to the recording of the radio transmissions, I'm struck by how often the pilots (and sometimes tower personnel) "mumble". I realize that this is THEIR world and THEIR lingo. However, one would think that this is an environment where everything would be spoken in a firm voice, and in a clear and distinct manner.

  • Crankyone Mar 31, 2011

    "if it bleeds it leads," and we are all guilty of providing the impetus for that philosophy as we are all on here commenting about it.

    Personally, I know exactly what caused the crash, as all other plane crashes. ..................GRAVITY.

    To fly in inclement weather you have to continually exercise your IFR knowledge. Just passing the certification and practcing it occassionally is not good enough. You have to be confident and well versed before heading into bad weather. I try to do half my hours practicing IFR. The there are some situations you just do not fly in: limited visibility in the mountains.

  • rand321 Mar 31, 2011

    The aircraft is based in RDU. the crew and many of the employees are RDU based. it is RDU news!

  • batcave Mar 31, 2011

    "...not even our viewing area."

    also on the Sun News MBeach web.

  • chivegas Mar 31, 2011

    I should point out that we don't know if weather was the culprit. Could have been any of a dozen or so other possibilities too (mechanical failure, etc.)

  • chivegas Mar 31, 2011

    Weather was at or near minimums (for Cat I) because of all the rain. If you listen to the tape, you can hear pilots continually asking what the RVR is (Runway visibility range).

    Trouble starts about halfway through the recording when Logistics 569 (the ill-fated flight's callsign) goes MAP (Missed Approach). The controller asks them to fly the runway heading and climb to 4,000 ft. That's the last time you hear from the plane. Then you hear the controllers send some other flights on MAP and ask them to contact departure (standard procedure when a flight is not-responding) and they say that Runway 5L is not available. When you hear the controller say: "Noone's moving, do what you gotta do", I believe that was an internal transmission to the other controllers in the tower and TRACON.

    Ironically and tragically, Logistics 569 considered going into holding (to wait for conditions to improve) instead of shooting the approach...

  • Hater like Darth Vader Mar 31, 2011

    The Landmark pilot was based in Raleigh I believe. They have offices at RDU. I would say a plane hitting a couple homes is news Burger.

  • Deep Thought Mar 30, 2011

    I live in High Point and watch WRAL online and the website. In fact, this story was on the Channel 5 website shortly after the TV stations here announced it.

  • justabumer Mar 30, 2011

    It seems to me that anyone who thinks that any particular story isn't newsworthy would be able to ignore it and move on to something else. What's the purpose in taking time to let everyone else that they didn't like the story? Don't know about the rest of you, but I don't really care.

  • RB-003 Mar 30, 2011

    Killian - "RB-003...um, the headline says that 2 people were killed. I don't think everyone is ok."

    Saw that. The headline changed since I posted my prayer.

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