Pair hurt in plane crash

Published 7:53 am Tuesday, June 19, 2007

By Staff
Father in critical condition in Greenville
Staff Writer
A Washington man, involved in a plane crash Sunday near Washington’s Warren Field Airport, was listed in critical condition Monday at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
The pilot, Hilton Ray Modlin, 79, and his son, Hank Terry Modlin, 54, both of Washington, were able to exit the aircraft before it caught fire, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Hilton Modlin was listed in critical condition Monday, said a spokesman with Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Hank Modlin was listed in fair condition.
The single-engine plane went down in a wheat field between Springs Road and Wares Chapel Church Lane, near the Warren Field Airport in Washington. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office received the emergency call at 5:45 p.m.
Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department responded with the assistance of the City of Washington Department of Fire-Rescue-EMS Inspections and the Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department.
The aircraft was fully engulfed when fire personnel arrived. Firefighters worked to extinguish the airplane and keep the fire from spreading to a nearby wooded area, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
The Modlins were initially transported to Beaufort County Hospital, and then moved to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
Hilton Modlin and his son were reportedly “standing and talking with first responders,” Sheriff Alan Jordan said Sunday in a telephone interview with the Daily News.
A family member said Monday that Hilton Modlin may have multiple surgeries as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.
A field investigation into the crash begins today, said Kathleen Bergen with the Federal Aviation Administration. She said inspectors will the FAA will be at the crash site to determine whether the pilot was operating under the required credentials and that the plane was “flown in the proper manner.”
The sheriff’s office is assisting the FAA and conducted an interview Monday with Hank Modlin at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, said Lt. Tommi Bridgeman. An interview with Hilton Modlin was not possible Monday because of his condition, she said.
Bergen said the National Transportation Safety Board determines the cause of the crash.