Local News

Raleigh man dies in small-plane crash

Posted June 14, 2008 9:36 a.m. EDT
Updated June 15, 2008 8:28 a.m. EDT

— A Raleigh man died when his small plane crashed in a wooded area in Johnston County early Saturday morning, officials said.

Charles "Chuck" Zeigra, 58, of 4108 Wingate Drive, was practicing a fly-by in an ultra-light plane at a private landing strip off Tart Town Road, east of Dunn, shortly after 6 a.m., said Capt. Buck Pipkin, with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

In a fly-by, a pilot simulates a landing approach but pulls up before actually touching the ground.

Zeigra was staging a landing attempt and accelerated to pull up, but the wing hit the ground and flipped the plane over, Pipkin said.

Zeigra suffered injuries to his pelvis and leg and was taken by ground to WakeMed in Raleigh. Investigators said rescue workers stabilized Zeigra at the scene, but he later died, likely from crash-related injuries.

Friends said Zeigra was piloting a Trike, a type of small aircraft that is like a powered hang glider. It can attain speeds of 70 mph.

Zeigra was practicing to earn certification to fly solo in a Trike, friends said. His flight instructor was at the airstrip when he crashed, Pipkin said

Zeigra and his wife, Liz, were members of the Sampson County Cotton Pickers flying club.