Elderly man killed in small plane crash in Catawba County - | WBTV Charlotte

Elderly man killed in small plane crash in Catawba County

(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)
(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)

A man was killed in a small plane crash in Long View Saturday, Catawba County officials confirm. 

The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. behind a BB&T on 1st Ave SW, about a mile from the Hickory Regional Airport.

Catawba County Emergency Management says George Baxter Harris, 83 and experienced in flying, was killed in the crash. 

Harris' son told WBTV his father was an Air Force pilot who loved flying more than anything. 

According to the plane's N-number, the aircraft was a Culver fixed wing single-engine plane. Harris' son says the PQ-14A was one of only four in the world. 

The plane was stationed at the airport, and officials say Harris was circling a soccer field nearby before crashing. 

Misty Mancilla was at her child's soccer game when she heard the plane overhead. 

"I said, oh, he's going down. We all were talking, he's going down. I was gathering my kids to run in case he landed because he was right over us," she said. 

Catawba County officials say Baxter was killed on impact. No one else was aboard the small plane.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating, but Harris' son says the planes engine stalled, causing it to crash. 

"There's not a whole lot left of the plane. So we certainly want their input on what happened," Catawba County Emergency Manager Karyn Youssy said. 

Online records show Harris had the required medical clearance to fly. 

Harris leaves behind two sons and four grandchildren. 

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