HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A single-engine plane crashed in Hickory on Tuesday evening, injuring the pilot and three passengers on board.
Cody Good heard a noise outside his home just after 5 p.m. Tuesday evening. "Just a big ole bang." Cody rushed outside to see what it was and saw a mangled plane in the woods across the street.
He and others in the neighborhood rushed to the wreckage and found four people alive inside.
"They were trying to crawl out so we helped them," Good said.
Three of the injured were conscious. One, the pilot, was not.
When rescue crews arrived, the pilot was airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte in critical condition. The others were transported to a local hospital to be checked out.
"We think he's okay," said David Teague about his 19-year-old son Brian who was aboard the aircraft. "Just some bruises and bumps, I think."
His son told him that the trouble aboard the plane began just after takeoff from the Hickory Regional Airport. "He said the engine quit at 300 feet, it just stopped."
The pilot, who has not been identified, had just seconds to react and was able to bring the aircraft down in a residential area, missing several homes.
The Beechcraft single engine plane was en route to Greenville-Spartanburg, said Teague. Officials believe that contributed to the fact there was no fire in the crash. It's estimated the plane had less than 50 gallons of fuel aboard because of the short flight ahead.
The area in Long View where the crash happened has been cordoned off and fire crews will remain on the scene all night.
Federal investigators looked at the scene Tuesday night, and will return at first light to continue their investigation.