According to officials, it was the second time in a year that Bryan Esterly crashed his plane. He had a third crash in May 2011.
Esterly suffered minor injuries in the Sunday crash and was taken to WakeMed in Apex, while his 15-year-old grandson, who was a passenger in the plane, was not hurt.
Eyewitnesses said the plane came crashing down into an wooded area just after 5 p.m. Exclusive video from Chopper11 HD showed the single-engine aircraft buried deep among some trees.
"Don't really know much, expect that he was attempting to take off from the runway," said Sgt. Travis Ingold, with the N.C. Highway Patrol.
The FAA reports the plane lost power on takeoff from Deck Airport, at 1617 Air Park Drive in Apex. It all happened hundreds of yards away from Highway 64.
Esterly is listed as the owner of a private landing strip right beside that highway.
The Wake County Sheriff has confirmed that Esterly was also the pilot in a plane crash back in August on that same landing strip.
A different passenger was with him when authorities said Esterly came in too fast and overshot the runway.
Meanwhile, the FAA is investigating Sunday's incident.
"I think considering the circumstances, I think they're pretty fortunate," Ingold said.