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Airplane Mishap at Billy Mitchell Airstrip

Billy Mitchell Plane

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Date: December 8, 2009
Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111 Ext. 148

On Sunday, December 6, 2009 around 10:30 a.m. National Park Service Rangers in the Hatteras District of Cape Hatteras National Seashore received a call from Dare County Communication Center advising of a non-injury plane crash at Billy Mitchell Airstrip, a state-maintained day use airstrip located within the boundaries of the National Seashore.  The pilot of the Piper Saratoga aircraft, Charles Cole, of Virginia Beach, VA was uninjured and there were no passengers aboard the aircraft.  The airport was closed for approximately four hours during the investigation and clean-up.


During take off from the airport, an alarm sounded and while attempting to slow down and abort take off, the pilot encountered a brake failure which in turn caused him to veer

left off the runway.  The plane came to rest in low brush just off the runway.  Weather does not appear to be a factor.  The Federal Aviation Administration has been advised of the incident.

Did You Know?

Seasparkle, a tiny dinoflagellate that can be seen glowing in the surfline at night.

The beaches along Cape Hatteras National Seashore sparkle at night. When you kick the sand, you disturb tiny dinoflagellates like seasparkle, magnified in the picture to the left. A chemical reaction causes them to glow with a blue-green light.