‘Mayday’: Small plane crashes onto North Carolina interstate; 2 people sent to hospital

‘Mayday’: Small plane crashes onto North Carolina interstate; 2 people sent to hospital


Natalie Neysa Alund

Will Hofmann
 USA TODAY NETWORKplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}Watch: Small plane fire shuts down interstateA plane carrying two caught fire after a forced landing on Interstate 26 in North Carolina. Neither passenger sustained life-threatening injuries.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. − A small plane crashed onto a busy highway in North Carolina Thursday night, sending a pilot and one passenger on board to a hospital and closing a portion of a major interstate, local officials said.

The wreck took place at 8:15 p.m. ET on Interstate 26 near the Asheville Regional Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration told USA TODAY Friday.

The crash involved a single engine Diamond DA-40, a FAA spokesperson reported.

According to a preliminary FAA accident report obtained by USA TODAY, a pilot on board declared “a mayday due to engine failure and smoke in the cockpit” and attempted to make an emergency landing on the interstate.

Two taken to local hospital

Buncombe County Emergency Services, firefighters from Skyland Fire Department and Asheville Airport public safety officers responded to the fiery scene.

“We transported two people out of the plane crash, but there does not appear to be any life-threatening injuries,” Allen Morgan, Buncombe County on-duty EMS supervisor told the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA TODAY Network.

More details on their conditions were not immediately known Friday morning.

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The plane was destroyed, according to the FAA report.

I-26 lanes closed

Both directions of I-26 between Airport Road and Long Shoals Road were likely to remain closed until about 11 a.m. on Friday, according to a statement from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

“The closure is necessary for Duke Power to restore three lines that cross both directions of I-26 traffic,” the news release said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, according to the FAA.

Contributing: Asheville Citizen Times staff

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X @nataliealund.

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