A single-engine plane that crash landed in Long View on Jan. 6 and sent the pilot and three passengers to the hospital had a hole in its engine and damage to its fuselage, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The report shows that the pilot heard a loud bang as the plane climbed about 300 feet above ground level at about 4:30 p.m.
The pilot and three other passengers left the Hickory Regional Airport and were headed to Greenville, the report shows.
As the plane gained altitude, the engine completely lost power, the report states, prompting the pilot to perform an emergency crash landing into the trees.
The pilot sustained serious injuries, authorities said, while the three passengers had mostly minor injuries.
Cody Good told WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, that he rushed outside when he heard a loud noise near his home. He saw the mangled plane in the woods, WBTV reported, and joined other neighbors in trying to rescue the people inside.
"They were trying to crawl out so we helped them," Good told WBTV.
Inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage and found “substantial damage” to the plane’s fuselage and a hole in the engine, according to the report.
The information in a NTSB preliminary report is subject to change as the investigation continues. A full, more-detailed report of the accident, which will include investigators’ findings and the probable cause of the accident, will be available in the coming months.