Crash injures one

Published 12:21 am Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Grumman G-164A crop duster crash-landed Saturday morning in the Sidney area of eastern Beaufort County. (WDN Photo/Christ Prokos)


BELHAVEN – A single-engine crop duster crash-landed just before 8 a.m. Saturday in the Sidney crossroads area.

The pilot, Randy Lee of Washington, was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital following the crash, said Curtis Avery, Beaufort County fire marshal.

Lee was said to have been injured, but his injuries weren’t specified.

Lee was listed in good condition as of 4 p.m. Saturday, according to Jimmy Ryals, a spokesman for University Health Systems in Greenville.

The single-engine plane touched ground in a wheat field well off N.C. Highway 99.

“It crashed after apparently the engine stalled,” said Holly Baker, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The propeller housing reportedly was disconnected as the plane cartwheeled on impact. (WDN Photos/Christ Prokos)

“Substantial damage was done to the aircraft,” Baker commented.

FAA will investigate the incident, she said.

The agency had notified its inspectors with the Greensboro flight standards district office, and one inspector would be dispatched to the scene, she concluded.

Amber Smith didn’t see the crash but heard what preceded it.

“We heard it when his engine quit,” said Smith, who lives about a half-mile away from the crash site, just off N.C. Highway 99.

Smith said she didn’t know the pilot, but added she thought the same plane had flown over her community Friday morning and Saturday before the crash.

“It was in pieces,” Smith said of the plane after impact, adding the engine had become dislodged.

Smith said she was glad the pilot survived.

“When you see the plane you would think that there’s no possible way,” she said. “I was very surprised and relieved to hear that he did live.”

According to the FAA’s website, the plane is a 1975 Grumman G-164A registered to Lee Flying Service of Pantego.

The plane’s classification is for agriculture and pest control.

Members of the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department, Pamlico Beach Emergency Medical Services, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. Highway Patrol responded to the accident call, Avery related.