NTSB: Pitt Co. Plane Crash Captured On Home Surveillance Cam

The National Transportation Safety Board says home surveillance video captured last week's deadly airplane crash in Pitt County.

Joshua Brehm, a pilot for Southwest Airlines, died when his vintage single seat airplane crashed Thursday afternoon at a private airstrip off County Home Road.

According to a preliminary report by the NTSB, Brehm's Taylorcraft BL-65 was substantially damaged while attempting to land.

The NTSB says according to the surveillance video, the airplane approached the runway from the south "in a nose-down, left-bank attitude." The report says the plane hit the ground approximately 1/3 down the runway. The plane then spun 180 degrees, coming to rest about 20 feet from the initial impact.

The NTSB says the right aileron bellcrank and a hand-held global positioning system receiver were removed for further examination.

No cause was listed in the preliminary report for the crash. The NTSB investigation could take up to a year to complete.

The FAA says Brehm was rated to fly Boeing 737s, Beechcraft 1900 turboprops and Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.


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A commercial airline pilot died Thursday when his small vintage aircraft crashed at a private airstrip in Pitt County.

The Pitt County Sheriff's Office confirms that Joshua Brehm of Winterville died in the crash.

The Medical Examiner's Office says Brehm died from multiple injuries, including fracture of the cervical spine and a brain injury. They have ruled his death as accidental.

Brehm was the registered owner of the 1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 single-engine plane that crashed around 3:20 p.m. at South Oaks Aerodrome off County Home Road.

The FAA says Brehm was rated to fly Boeing 737s, Beechcraft 1900 turboprops and Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. Southwest Airlines confirmed that Brehm was a pilot for their airline.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are both at the crash site today.

NTSB senior safety investigator Bob Gretz says there was nothing usual about yesterday's weather and that neighbors say Brehm went up around 1:45 p.m. and the crash happened about 90 minutes later.

Gretz says the plane is mostly intact and they were able to retrieve a GPS, which is also intact. The small plane has no "black box." He says it could take six months to a year for the NTSB to come up with a probable cause for the crash.


The Pitt County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that one person has died in a plane crash on Thursday.

It happened at South Oaks Aerodrome, a small private airstrip on County Home Road around 3:20 p.m.

A witness tells WITN News that the single-engine plane appeared to nosedive when it was attempting to land at the airstrip.

The plane now is surrounded by crime scene tape, sitting upright on the grass.

The aircraft is a Taylorcraft BL-65 single-engine plane that was built in the 1940s.

The FAA says the plane crashed due to unknown circumstances in a field. Sources tell WITN the pilot was Joshua Brehm of Winterville. Friends say he had commercial jet pilot experience.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to be at the crash scene at 11 a.m. Friday.

Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tegan Location: Orange County, CA on Aug 10, 2011 at 10:12 PM
    One of the best pilots I worked with when I was a flight attendant at America West Express. Josh was always fun to fly with and made every trip a good trip. My heart goes out to his family....spread your wings and fly high brother!
  • by wayne macneil Location: mabou on Aug 1, 2011 at 09:30 PM
    My condolences to the Joshua's family.Josh was a classmate and friend who will be greatly missed.
  • by Kevin Gillis Location: Windsor, Ontario on Aug 1, 2011 at 01:51 PM
    I knew Joshua for many years growing up in Mabou. He was a kind and gentle soul. When we were kids he would stay at my place and I too would stay at his little farm in the Mabou Coal Mines. My deepest condolences to his family. Bless You. He kept at true good humour's mark The social flow of pleasure's tide: He never made a brow look dark, Nor caused a tear, until he died...
  • by John Miller Location: Inola, Oklahoma on Jul 31, 2011 at 08:54 PM
    My heart goes out to you Jennifer and the rest of your family.
  • by Melody and David MacMillan Location: Mabou, Nova Scotia on Jul 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM
    My most recent memory of Joshua was seeing him at the Farmers Market in Mabou.I hadnt seen him since highschool, it was so nice re-connecting. Humble, warm, sincere are the words I would use to describe Joshua. A great loss. Our sincerest condolences to Laura,Suzanne and family.
  • by Cheryl MacNeil Location: Antigonish, NS, Canada on Jul 31, 2011 at 09:22 AM
    Just wanted Josh's family to know that even though the years have gone by, Josh is still remembered by his former classmates back in Mabou. He was always a very creative individual. We travelled the same school bus every day for so many years. Reading about Josh's many accomplishments as a pilot tells me how passionate he was about following his dreams. Sounds like he always remained a free spirit with a vivid sense of adventure. My condolences to his mom Suzanne and the rest of his family. Bless you all.
  • by Marie Roberson Location: O.C. Md on Jul 30, 2011 at 03:54 AM
    My heart bleeds for the ones left behind, its never easy losing loved ones. He is gone but not forgotten, sounds like everyone loved him. My condolences to this family, and my heart felt prayers.
  • by Charlie Location: Jamestown on Jul 29, 2011 at 08:55 PM
    I worked with Josh at Southwest. I had the pleasure of flying some with Josh before he upgraded to Captain. He was the consummate aviation professional and a wonderfully friendly and pleasant person to be around. He always had a smile and kind words whenever you saw him. I just saw Josh this past Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore. This is truly a sad day for me personally and for Southwest...they have lost a wonderful employee. My thoughts and prayers go out to Josh's wife and family.
  • by Mike Location: snow hill on Jul 29, 2011 at 05:38 PM
    To the family members of Joshua our deepest heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. So sorry for your loss but rest assured that the good people of NC are thinking about you during your time of need.
  • by Anne Craig Location: N. Yarmouth, Maine on Jul 29, 2011 at 01:34 PM
    Joshua loved what he did and he died doing what he loved! He was the dearest person and my nephew. Thanks for kind thoughts. I will always hold him in my heart. He will be missed by many, especially his mom, Suzanne, sister Jennifer and wife, Laura.
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