FIRST ON WITN: "Powered Parachute" Makes Hard Landing

Pitt County authorities say a powered parachute, and not an ultra light, was involved in an accident this morning outside of Grifton.

Emergency management director Noel Lee tells WITN News that the aircraft did not crash. Lee says it had a hard landing, with very little damage.

Troopers identified the pilot at J.B. Cain of Grifton. They say the 54-year-old man suffered a broken leg, along with back and hip injuries.

Witnesses tell authorities that the pilot has flown out of the field off Highway 118 many times before.

A powered parachute can fly up to 35 miles per hour. It looks like a go-cart with a large propeller behind the pilot. Attached is a parachute, similar to those use in para-sailing.

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An ultralight aircraft has crashed in Pitt County.

Several fire trucks are on the scene near Grifton right now. Dispatchers say the plane crash was reported to them around 7:30 a.m. Friday. There is a report of one injury.

The crash site is in a field off Highway 118, just outside the Grifton town limits.

This is the third aircraft crash in Eastern Carolina this week. A man crashed a small plane into the Buckhorn Reservoir in Wilson Thursday. He walked away with no injuries. Another man was killed when his plane crashed in Duplin County Monday.

Ultralights are described as light-weight and having one-seat, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association. The FAA lists the following requirements for an aircraft to be classified as an ultralight: one-seat; 254 pounds max. empty weight (powered); 155 pounds max empty weight (unpowered); 5 gallons max. fuel capacity; 55 knots max. full power speed; and 24 knots max power off stall speed.

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