Local News

NTSB: Pilot error caused Clayton plane crash

Posted December 10, 2008 5:24 p.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2008 6:13 p.m. EST

— A pilot's abruptly banking his plane caused it to crash into a Clayton restaurant 15 months ago, according to the final report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Garry Stephen Reid, 54, of Galivants Ferry, S.C., died Sept. 21, 2007, when his single-engine, 1947 North American Navion crashed into the front of McCall's BBQ and Seafood restaurant, at 10365 U.S. Highway 70 West.

No one else was injured in the crash, which occurred about an hour before the popular restaurant was scheduled to open for lunch.

Witnesses said the plane banked as it approached 40-foot-high power lines near the restaurant. The plane came to rest upside-down inside the restaurant.

The NTSB report said the crash occurred after Reid banked to avoid a water tower and an antenna tower near the restaurant. Investigators said he also failed to obtain weather briefing before taking off from South Carolina.

Although Reid was an instrument-rated pilot, he hadn't logged any time flying in instrument conditions. Low ceilings and limited visibility across eastern North Carolina the day of the crash called for instrument flying, and Reid would have benefited from discussing the weather with air-traffic controllers before the flight, officials said.

The owners of McCall's rebuilt the restaurant and reopened last April.