On the afternoon of July 12, a small private plane crashed at the Horace Williams Airport in Chapel hill, resulting in the death of the pilot and two others suffering personal injuries, according to authorities.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Burgen said that the single-engine Cirrus SR 20 plane crashed shortly before 3 p.m.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to report to the scene for an investigation. The airport remains closed to air traffic while the investigation is in progress.
One of the passengers aboard the plane was Kyle Henn, the brother of a man who died in a terrorist bombing in Uganda the day before the accident.
Henn’s sister, Brynne Henn, said that he received transport to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill to undergo treatment for cuts and bruises to his legs. He was listed in fair condition. She said that a friend of the company her brother works for offered him the private flight to the Triangle for him to be with his family after the death of his brother.
According to what Henn told his family, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to extract the pilot, Tom “Pitsy” Pitts, from the plane after the accident. The plane was registered to Pitts, a native of Wilmington, Delaware.
According to a spokeswoman from UNC Hospitals, Kyle Henn and Jim Donahue were receiving treatment at the hospital for the injuries they suffered in the accident. Delaware’s The News Journal identified Donahue as the co-pilot of the plane. He was listed in critical condition as of July 13 with injuries to his legs.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill owns Horace Williams Airport. It is used by private pilots and North Carolina’s Area Health Education Centers Program, which aims to improve access to primary health care services across the state.
The university plans to permanently close the airport so that it can become part of the planned Carolina North project.