BURLINGTON, N.C. — Police say a pilot was killed early Wednesday morning when his small plane crashed into a softball field near a community center not far from the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.
It happened around 6 a.m., shortly after takeoff.
The North Park Community Center is near the intersection of Sharpe Road and Melrose Drive — about 5 miles away from the airport.
» Click here for a map of the area «
The Burlington Police Department said most of the wreckage was in the field. According to sources looking into the crash, it appeared that the pilot was trying to avoid residential areas.
Assistant Police Chief Chris Verdeck said the pilot was the only person onboard. He said no one on the ground was hurt. Verdeck did not know if the pilot issued a distress call before the crash. The pilot’s name has not been released at this time.
Verdeck said officials were concerned that the aircraft had as much as 400 gallons of fuel.
The FAA said the plane was a 1999 model Pilatus PC-12 – a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. It reportedly was operated by Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings — known as LabCorp — an American medical testing company headquartered in Burlington.
A flight plan said the plane was leaving Burlington for Morristown, New Jersey, carrying interoffice mail to MMU Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation into the crash.
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