Small plane crashes near Burlington, pilot dies

The Associated Press

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BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A single engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Burlington early Wednesday, killing the pilot, the only person onboard the aircraft.

The crash occurred around 6 a.m. about 5 miles northeast of the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, said Assistant Police chief Chris Verdeck.

The pilot was David Gamble, 57, of Greensboro, Verdeck said.

No one on the ground was hurt, Verdeck said.

The plane was a Pilatus PC-12 owned by Labcorp, a medical testing company in Burlington. A spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was headed to Morristown, N.J.

Verdeck says he doesn't know if the Gamble issued a distress call before the crash. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive later Wednesday to lead the investigation.

Emergency workers at the scene said it appeared the pilot tried to avoid nearby residential areas. Most of the debris from was located on a softball field near a community center.

Verdeck said officials were concerned that the aircraft had as much as 400 gallons of fuel.

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