Plane with parachute crashes in Duplin County

Published: Jan. 2, 2020 at 12:25 PM EST
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A pilot whose plane crashed this morning in one Eastern Carolina county says the aircraft's parachute was their lifesaver.

Emergency officials in Duplin County tell WITN News that everyone made it off the plane safely.

The crash happened off Tram Road, between Red Hill Road and Hunting Club Road, in the northern part of the county.

The FAA says a Cirrus SR22 went down in a grove of trees around 10:25 a.m. The plane is suspended in trees about five feet off the ground.

Two people and two dogs were on board and the pilot deployed the aircraft's parachute to help it land during an emergency, according to the FAA.

Ken Brown and his wife were on the plane. He said they were flying along and the engine just quit.

"In the moments before -- what was going on? Nothing -- boring -- boring -- boring -- flying along -- as we've done many times -- 6,500 feet about as boring as you can get -- until there was silence -- engine quit and beyond a couple of things of trying to figure out why the engine quit -- there's not an awful lot to do -- except figure out where you're going to end up," Brown said.

The plane left Southbridge, Massachusetts this morning and was headed to Venice, Florida. They had planned to land in Elizabethtown to refuel.

Brown, who has been flying for about 25 years, said the runway at the Duplin County Airport was within sight, but they weren't quite able to make it that far.

He said he was aiming to land in a field just beyond the trees and they came down a little shy of that goal. Brown said it's a miracle that he and his wife, and their two dogs, are okay.

In addition to the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash.