Local News

Storm Contributes to Plane Crash in Chapel Hill

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CHAPEL HILL — A pilot and his student have survived a storm-related plane crash near the Horace Williams Airport Thursday morning.

The Piper Cherokee Warrior crashed just before 11 a.m. at the intersection of Estes Drive and Airport Road, near the north end of the Horace Williams Airport.

Both men were taken toUNC Hospitals. Pilot Richard Bincley, 38, of Raleigh is in good condition; passenger William Ladd, 51, of Durham is in fair condition.

The plane was coming in for a landing at the airport when the storms arrived.

"The plane looked like it was in real serious trouble. It looked like it had a problem with the wind getting up under it, and it was wobbling real badly. It seemed like it stalled in mid-air and it veered off to the left and crashed," said witness Daryl White.

The plane crashed into a thicket, cut through a fence, and came to rest near some recycling bins.

There was a fire in the plane on impact. One man pulled the other out of the burning fuselage.

The Chapel Hill Flying Club owns the 20-year-old plane.

"I've flown this particular plane dozens, if not hundreds of times myself. [It is] a very stable, very sound aircraft," says club president Bill Sawyer.

Initial reports say the crash was weather-related. The NTSB and the FAA are investigating, however a final report is not expected for a few weeks.


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