WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A pilot has passed away after a small plane crashed in Watauga County Wednesday morning, according to officials.
The crash happened just before 9 a.m. off of Hardin Road outside of Boone. The pilot was identified as 67-year-old Danny Dunn.
Witnesses say the plane took off from a private airstrip about 100 yards from the crash site. Witnesses also report the plane circled several times before going down.
The plane caught fire upon impact and Dunn crawled free from the wreckage. He was located a short distance away, and was airlifted from the scene with life-threatening injuries.
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital confirmed Wednesday night that Dunn had passed away from his injuries.
Officials say the plane is a Fantasy Air Allegro 2000 Light Sport single-engine aircraft that was registered to Dunn. There’s no word on what caused it to go down, but the crash is under investigation.
The private airstrip is right next to Dunn’s home and was finished only recently. Neighbor George Folkes says he talked with Dunn just a few days ago, and that Dunn told him he was still working on procedures flying into the new runway.
”He said it was a learning process,” Folkes said, adding that everyone in the neighborhood was thinking of Dunn.