Neighbors describe hearing moment plane crashed in Stokes County

Piedmont Triad News

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Nearby neighbors described the evening a single-engine 1964 Beechcraft A23 flew over their homes Tuesday evening on Almas Lane in Pinnacle.

Joy Collins lives across the road from where the plane made an emergency crash landing in the middle of a hayfield. She told FOX8 out of nowhere there was a big “boom.”

“It just boom, like an explosion and we looked, there was no smoke, we did not see the plane fly, and it was like, you know, we didn’t know what it was,” Collins said.

Collins later said her neighbors who initially called the police and saw the wreckage told her about the crash as she witnessed fire crews and an ambulance searching for the plane.

The plane was being operated by a student pilot with his instructor in the passenger seat. One person in the plane was killed in the crash and another was taken to the hospital.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane was coming from Winston-Salem Tuesday evening for a 45-minute instructional flight.

The NTSB said that emergency signal “7700” was sent to the flight towers from the transporter; not long after it was sent, the signal stopped.

“Sometime during the flight very briefly, air traffic control heard a transponder squawk code of 7700. What that means is, it’s an emergency signal that goes back to air traffic control and notifies ATC of the potential problem. That code was only on for a couple of seconds before radar services were lost,” said Aaron McCarter, aviation accident investigator with the NTSB.

McCarter said the investigation into the cause of the plane crash could take up to a year to finish. Both passengers have yet to be identified.

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