Local News

Pilot killed in Halifax County plane crash

Posted June 27, 2014

— The pilot was killed Friday morning when a single-engine plane crashed in a Halifax County field, authorities said.

The single-engine Cessna 182 departed from the Sabot Airport, which is west of Richmond, Va., and was en route to the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport when the pilot, Albert Orgain, reported engine problems, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Orgain was diverted to the Hanover County Municipal Airport north of Richmond but decided to head to the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport for an unknown reason, the FAA said.

Orgain was an aviation attorney in Richmond, officials said. Colleagues described him as an exceptional pilot with thousands of hours in the air. 

"I tell you, if there was anybody I would feel safe with in the air, it would be Al Orgain," said Don Osborne, Executive Director of Sands Anderson Law Firm. 

Orgain flew helicopters in the Army and served in the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and six Air Medals. 

"There are not many lawyers that I could say that everybody loved, and Al is one of them. Everyone loved Al," Osborne said.

The plane crashed about 10 a.m. off Andrew Hale Road near Littleton, about 5 miles southwest of the airport.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. 


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  • Tim Pearce Jun 27, 2014
    user avatar

    Don't think he would have had carb icing today.

  • renjaminfrankln Jun 27, 2014

    Carb heaters are standard on carb 182's. Its also a standard item to test the carb heat operation before every flight. If it does not work, the airplane is not airworthy.

    It is a possibility that the carb heat was inoperative or the pilot experienced carb ice and forgot to use it. Regardless of the cause it appears this was a forced landing gone wrong.

    The ground scar indicates a hard impact at low airspeed. A forced landing in a large field like this with good weather should have resulted in no injuries. A normal approach is typically done with a little bit of throttle, but pilots must demonstrate the ability to glide and land power off. Unfortunately without regular practice, it can be difficult.

  • Anita Woody Jun 27, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Really? It doesn't indicate it though in your link - it just provides a brief on icing. I wonder why the pilot wouldn't be using the carb heater if it had one.

  • Brian Lancaster Jun 27, 2014
    user avatar

    carb-heaters are standard on 182's


  • Anita Woody Jun 27, 2014

    This is a very good plane but it has one problem that has lead to many of its crashes. The carburetor freezes up under high humidity and air temperatures (both of which we have today). Because it is general aviation- the manufacturer is not required to install equipment to avoid this. One thing many people don't know about General Aviation aircraft, planes can continue to be manufactured under the original specs as signed off by the FAA - manufacturers don't have to install (e.g., a de-icer) even if a significant amount of crashes are caused by icing.

  • dubious Jun 27, 2014

    An emergency landing on a plowed field is never easy. Looks like the starboard side landing gear was sheared off. I believe the training is to try to land with the plowed rows rather than across them. Sad indeed.

  • Fred Kozlof Jun 27, 2014
    user avatar

    looks like a survivable landing, sadly a bad luck day in general aviation.

  • renjaminfrankln Jun 27, 2014

    Looks like N182PE

    Stated to ATC he had some 'readings that didn't work out but engine still running fine' and changed his destination for KOFP. Few minutes later asks for vector to nearest airport which was KIXA

  • Brandon White Jun 27, 2014
    user avatar

    Skylane's are reliable planes. I wonder how long it had been since the annual? Prayers to the family.