Plenty of private planes crisscross that area of Nash County. While three children were walking toward Holly Grove Baptist Church, they saw a plane flying dangerously low over their heads.
"He was curving over the trees, and then all of the sudden, we never saw him any more," witness Ashley Jeffries said.
The plane, carrying pilot Stan James and a female passenger, crashed on Charles Murray's land.
"I know he's been flying for years," Murray said. "We see him flying around here, or have over the last five years."
James and his passenger climbed out of the plane without serious injuries.
"I'm guessing he was probably coming in for a landing," Murray said, "because this is not even 300-400 yards from his landing strip."
Witnesses said James' plane was coming from the direction of his air strip, then turned around. The land was harvested for timber just six years ago.
"It's really all just scrub brush," Murray said. "There's no significant trees back in there, in the area he crashed is all just brush. It probably saved his life."
From here, the FAA will begin its investigation to find out exactly what caused the plane to go down.
Nash County sheriff's deputies spoke to the pilot but would not say what kind of trouble he was having before the plane crashed.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.