Pilot in Mt. Airy crash faces long recovery

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- Family members of pilot Chris Gammons say he is in stable condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, after his plane crashed at the Mount Airy airport Thursday evening. Gammons underwent surgery on his back and suffered several broken bones due to the crash.

The BD-5 single-engine plane crashed in a ravine on the west side of the runway near the north end, when the pilot was trying to land. Witnesses say, they heard the plane sputtering just before the crash.

Gammons, who is a native of Patrick County, Virginia, was alone when he took off from the Statesville Airport bound for Mount Airy.

“It could have been me in there with him,” said Devon Byrd, who frequently flies with Gammon in and out of the airport for fun.  "It could of been me in with him you know."

Fellow pilots at the Mount Airy airport say Chris Gammon flies for fun and was good at it.

"It can happen to any of us at any time," said pilot Kenny Gwyn.  "We all know that what we do is a lot fun but there is great risk that goes with it.  Sometimes you hit."

The NTSB arrived Friday morning to begin its full investigation that could take weeks to complete.