Pilot Error May Have Been a Factor In North Carolina Plane Crash at Horace Williams Airport

July 20, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report, pilot error may have been a factor in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina aviation accident on July 12. Per the report, a Cirrus SR20 touched down on the runway at Horace Williams Airport so hard that the plane bounced several times before crashing into a fence and trees.

Killed in the North Carolina plane crash was pilot Thomas Pitts, 66. The two passengers riding with him were injured. Kyle Henn has since been released from the hospital, while Jim Donohue was still in critical condition as of last Friday.

According to witnesses, the private plane appeared to be operating out of control as it arrived at the airport, which belongs to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While it is not uncommon to add a power climb when attempting to re-land an aircraft, “pilot-induced oscillations” are not, and, per the report, excessive speed may have been a factor in this particular case.

One witness says the plane may have been traveling speeds of 60 to 70 mph as it went off the runway, while another witness has said that the nose of the plane was at a 45-degree upward angle during landing. No mechanical problems have been discovered.

North Carolina Plane Accidents
Unfortunately, plane crashes usually result in fatalities and serious injuries for those involved. Aviation accidents are different from other types of injury accidents, and it is important that you work with a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm that knows how to determine who should be held responsible for your plane crash injuries or your loved one’s wrongful death.

Crash may be pilot’s fault, News Observer, July 20, 2010

Friends grieve for pilot killed in crash, The Chapel Hill News, July 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Plane Accidents Overview, Justia


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