Local News

One killed in plane crash at Chapel Hill airport

Posted July 12, 2010 3:52 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2010 9:19 a.m. EDT

— A small private plane crashed Monday afternoon at the Horace Williams Airport, killing the pilot and injuring two others, authorities said.

The single-engine Cirrus SR 20 crashed shortly before 3 p.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Burgen said.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to arrive in Chapel Hill to investigate the wreck. The airport remains closed to air traffic while authorities investigate the crash.

One of the passengers on the plane was Kyle Henn, the brother of a man killed Sunday in a terrorist bombing in Uganda.

Kyle Henn was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for treatment of cuts and bruises to his legs, according to his sister, Brynne Henn. He was listed in fair condition.

A friend of the company Kyle Henn works for offered the private flight to the Triangle so he could be with his family after his brother's death, according to Brynne Henn.

Kyle told his family that he was unsuccessful in trying to pull the pilot, Tom "Pitsy" Pitts, from the plane after the crash. The plane was registered to Pitts, who lived in Wilmington, Del.

A UNC Hospitals spokeswoman said Kyle Henn and Jim Donahue were being treated at the hospital as a result of the plane crash. The News Journal in Delaware identified Donahue as the plane's co-pilot. As of Tuesday, he was in critical condition and had injuries to his legs.

Horace Williams Airport is owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The airport is used by private pilots as well as the state's Area Health Education Centers Program, which aims to improve access to primary health care services statewide.

UNC plans to close the airport permanently so it can become part of the planned Carolina North project.