8:20pm Saturday Update – There are published reports that the nose of the aircraft struck the top of a 30 foot tree and that the pilot emptied out all of his fuel before going down.
The 30 year old pilot, Max, is a Canadian resident living in Beaufort, NC. There is speculation that he may have been a member of the Marine Corps due to a sticker on the tail of the plane reading “Fly Marine – The Best Always Have.” according to High Country Press.
Some media outlets are reporting that the pilot took off from Ashe County heading to Asheville. With storms in the area there is no official word yet if that impacted the crash.
It's reported that a plaque inside the plane read “Experimental – Amateur Built Craft.”
8:49pm – EMS officials were called Friday evening to the Matney portion of Watauga County in response to a plane crash. The call from a resident at 289 Lovie Presnell Road followed an intense cell of showers in the area, no early indication if weather may have been a factor. Per scanner reports the pilot was ok, but was carried out by EMS. There was no reported fire at the scene of the crash, but the plane was “a mess” with the wings sheared off per scanner reports. WSOC TV reports that the FAA had no flight plan for the plane, and it was an Ultralight registered out of Canada. Below are the updates as reported here as they happen.
9:38pm – The Watauga Democrat is reporting that the plane crashed within a few hundred feet of the home of John Ferguson. “I heard an engine; it sounded like it wasn't running very well. Then I heard a boom,” he tells the paper.
*running updates as they come in*
7pm – EMS officials have been dispatched to a reported airplane crash in Matney (289 Lovie Presnell Road), way too early to know if the thunderstorm that passed through may have been a factor.
7:04pm – per scanner traffic the pilot is ok. Officials report the plane “is a mess” with wings sheared off.
7:11pm – plane does not appear to be on fire as fire departments are not fighting a fire per scanner traffic.
7:17pm – officials are getting ready to carry the pilot out as the plane is in the woods.
7:25pm – nothing new to pass along, scanner traffic does not have an “urge” tone to it at this time.
7:27pm – officials gathering man power together to carry pilot out.
Unconfirmed that the plane may be registered in Canada
8pm – officials continue to work at the scene, No new updates other than the area around it will be blocked off for awhile
8:18pm – per Leah Massey of WSOC TV – FAA tells them the plane was an Ultralight registered out of Canada. 8:39pm – FAA did not have a cause or flight plan for the plane per WSOC.
8:31pm – Received a text message from a resident near Willow Valley Golf course just outside of Boone that noticed a low flying plane near their home earlier this evening. They state that the plane was flying so low the pine trees behind their house moved due to the wind off the plane. Unconfirmed if this was the same aircraft.