Pilot killed, passenger injured in plane crash

A pilot was killed and his passenger injured Tuesday when the ultralight plane they were flying crashed near a private airstrip northeast of Monroe.

The plane crashed just before 1 p.m. near Arant Airport off Austin Chaney Road, said Pat Beekman, Union County's homeland security director.

Tim Moses, 55, of Monroe, the plane's pilot and owner, was killed on impact. The passenger was well-known flight instructor Leighton Pressley, who friends say lives on the airport property and keeps a hangar there. He was rushed first to Carolinas Medical Center-Union, then airlifted to CMC's trauma unit in Charlotte. He was listed in fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Pressley apparently was evaluating Moses during his biennial flight review – a test required by the government to keep a pilot's license current – when the accident happened, friends say.

Moses had built the plane, an experimental Quicksilver GT-500, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

An FAA investigator was due at the site Tuesday afternoon.

The fatal crash is the second in less than a week in the Charlotte area.

Last week, a 51-year-old Rock Hill man was killed when his single-engine plane crashed in a soybean field in southern York County.