Wake County

Fatal Apex plane crash investigated by NTSB, FAA

Federal investigators are looking into what caused a plane crash during its descent into an Apex airfield on Wednesday afternoon that killed the pilot.

The single-engine plane was seen clipping trees as it tried to land at Cox Field, according to the State Highway Patrol. The pilot, a Cary man identified as 80-year-old Bruce Jordan, was the only person on board.

The plane was an experimental Pitts S2E aircraft that was built in 2009, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

An investigation into what happened and why the plane crashed is just beginning and no specifics are available yet, said Heidi Kemner, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. Kemner said investigators spent part of Thursday examining the aircraft, the airfield and its surroundings.

“Overall, we’re going to look into the man, the machine and the environment,” she said.

After these initial steps, investigators will also request radar data, air traffic communications, airplane maintenance records as well as the medical records of the pilot.

The aircraft will also be removed from the field and taken to a secure facility for additional examination if necessary, said NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway.

A preliminary report will be completed in about 10 weeks, and a formal report will take about 18 months, Kemner said.