Local News

Federal Officials Investigate Plane Crash in Jordan Lake

Posted April 21, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the airplane that crashed into Jordan Lake Sunday, killing two.

Investigators will be examining a broken wing and other damage, plus the plane's working parts to see if they can determine what caused the plane to crash.

Rescue crews pulled 70-year-old James Caudill of Fuquay-Varina and 33-year-old Scott Vogel of Raleigh from the wreckage and tried unsuccessfully to revive them. It took about 10 hours to get the wreckage out of 18 feet of water in Jordan Lake.

The low-flying, open-cockpit Stearman biplane was flying between Farrington Point and Crosswinds Marina when it plunged into the lake around noon, about 200 yards from the lake's northeastern shore near Farrington Point.

Authorities said the single-engine plane was performing aerobatics over the lake when it crashed.

Mike Kirk witnessed the crash. He says the plane was flying very low just before it hit the water.

Eli Jerchower also saw what happened. He says the pilot flew a loop just before crashing.

The plane was a Stearman PT-17, used by the Army and Navy to train pilots for World War II and now popular as aerobatic planes and cropdusters.