Durham County

Man killed, another injured in Durham County plane crash

A Durham sheriff’s deputy and a Bahama Fire Department firefighter block traffic at the intersection of Archery Range Road and Bahama Woods Lane Tuesday after a small plane crashed nearby.
A Durham sheriff’s deputy and a Bahama Fire Department firefighter block traffic at the intersection of Archery Range Road and Bahama Woods Lane Tuesday after a small plane crashed nearby. hlynch@newsobserver.com

A man was killed and another injured Tuesday afternoon when a small plane crashed in the northern Durham County woods near Lake Michie.

The N.C. Highway Patrol and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident but released no details. NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said an investigator would be on the scene Wednesday.

The Beech D95A “Travel Air” craft was owned by Carolina Barnstormers Inc. of Chapel Hill. According to the group’s website, a man named Mike Ratty teaches those who want to learn how to fly.

Efforts to reach Ratty were unsuccessful. It is unclear whether he was on the plane.

The fixed-wing, multi-engine plane took off from Lake Ridge Aero Park Airport in Durham, off of East Greer Street.

It crashed near the intersection of Archery Range Road and Bahama Woods Lane east of Bahama, an unincorporated rural community near Lake Michie.

Durham County sheriff’s deputies, Durham Fire Department, Bahama Fire and Rescue and EMS workers all responded to the scene. Sheriff’s deputies blocked off Archery Range Road.

Sheriff’s deputies found the plane 50 yards into the woods from the nearest street. Crews rushed the injured man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Rickey Taylor of Bahama said the plane crashed 300 yards from his property. When he heard that a plane had crashed, he said he hopped on his four-wheeler and drove into the woods to find it.

He said the crash had started a small fire in the woods.

“It was a mess,” Taylor said. “The plane and the man alive was in pretty bad shape.”

Staff photojournalist Harry Lynch and news researcher David Raynor contributed to this report.

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