Brother of terror attack victim in NC plane crash

July 11, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
A small plane carrying the brother of an American man killed in a terror attack on World Cup soccer fans in Uganda crashed at Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill Monday afternoon.

ABC11 has confirmed that the pilot of the plane was killed in the crash and two others on board were seriously injured. Family members of Kyle Henn say he was a passenger on the plane and was one of the two who were hurt.

Henn was on his way back to Raleigh to be with family members following the death of his brother Nate "Oteka" Henn.

Nate Henn, 25, was one of 74 people --the only American-- killed in twin bombings in Uganda Sunday that targeted soccer fans watching the World Cup international soccer tournament.

An al-Qaida-linked militia based in Somalia has claimed responsibility.

Click here for more on that story

In Monday's plane crash, there is no word from officials on the identity of the pilot or the co-pilot who was hurt.

"A small passenger aircraft crash landed at approximately 3:05 p.m. (Monday) afternoon," said Randy Young with UNC Public Safety. "One passenger on the aircraft was pronounced dead on scene."

Kyle Henn told his family the plane bounced three times before slamming into some trees.

The plane was registered in Wilmington, Delaware to Thomas S. Pitts LLC. Kyle Henn's family said a friend of the company he works for offered the plane ride to help him get home quickly following the death of his brother.

A spokesperson for UNC Hospitals said Henn was in fair condition. The injured co-pilot was listed in critical condition.

Authorities would not say what led to the crash, but it looks like the plane overshot the runway, hitting some trees and bending back in two.

"I do not understand that there were any distress signals or anything of that nature coming out, but any further information would be something that the FAA would look at," Young said.

The FAA said the plane was a Cirrus SR20. The Cirrus is equipped with a parachute mechanism, and pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed the parachute trailing out across the ground next to the wreckage.

The airport - owned by UNC Chapel Hill - is located at 100 Estes Drive Extension in Chapel Hill. Officials at the airport say it is closed to all aircraft for now.

The university said Monday the airport is primarily used by Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program, which is based at the School of Medicine. It has operated since the 1940s.

The school says it plans to close the airport permanently and move its operations to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. It didn't give a date for when that would happen.

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