Local News

Small-plane crash is third for Wake County man

Posted April 28, 2014 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated April 28, 2014 7:00 p.m. EDT

— A Wake County man suffered minor injuries Sunday afternoon when the small plane he was piloting crashed into a wood line in Apex – his third such crash in as many years.

Bryan Henry Esterly, 74, was taking off from a private air strip when his Alon Aircoupe A2 crashed near westbound U.S. Highway 64 shortly after 5 p.m., according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Esterly was taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. His 15-year-old grandson, Derrick Esterly, who was in the plane with him, was not hurt.

According to a preliminary investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine aircraft lost power on takeoff and crashed approximately 300 feet off the end of the runway.

Esterly had no comment Monday.

Sunday's crash was the third minor wreck involving Esterly, according to the FAA.

In August, Esterly was involved in a hard landing along the same air strip – a short, dirt runway. In that incident, authorities say, Esterly landed too fast, and the nose wheel struck a ditch, causing the plane to flip.

In May 2011, his plane nosed over when he applied the brakes, causing the plane to end upside down.