Raleigh pilot killed in Harnett County ultralight aircraft crash, authorities say

(CBS North Carolina)


ERWIN, N.C. (WNCN) — An ultralight aircraft crash Friday in Harnett County has killed one person, authorities confirmed.

The crash happened near Pierce Lane in Erwin, officials said. More details were not immediately available.

Marshal Thomas Watkins, 71, of Raleigh was killed in the crash, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said.

“Witnesses stated that the aircraft was taking off from a grassy private airstrip located next to Pierce Lane,” the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. “It appeared to the witnesses that a gust of wind pushed the aircraft toward a group of trees near the runway, the aircraft made a sharp turn away from the trees and went down.”

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