Bellevue YMCA reopens following nearby plane crash - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC


Bellevue YMCA reopens following nearby plane crash


The YMCA in Bellevue has reopened Friday afternoon, four days after a plane crash just outside the facility killed a family of four people from Kansas.

Metro police officers conducted a final inspection of the area around the crash Friday morning, using specially trained dogs to detect any remaining biohazard material for removal.

A memorial wreath was placed near the crash site, and a collection box will allow members to leave notes of condolences, which will be sent to the family of the crash victims.

The twin-engine plane went down around 5 p.m. Monday, killing a family from Kansas that was coming into town for a cattlemen's convention at the Opryland Hotel.

The pilot, Glenn Mull; his wife, Elaine Mull; their daughter, Amy Harter; and their granddaughter, Samantha Harter, died in the crash.

As many as 300 people were inside the YMCA when the plane crashed, but nobody on the ground was injured, and the building was not damaged.

As for the cause, it will take the National Transportation Safety Board months, if not longer, to figure out what went wrong with the plane before it crashed.

Larry Williams spent 34 years as an inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration. Based on his analysis, he said, he suspects the pilot lost his orientation, possibly from vertigo.

"That's very possible. Unless there's engine failure that we don't know about. Unless there was ice on one wing that made it stall out that we don't know about. And it would be very hard to prove, because, you know, once it hits the ground, the ice is gone," Williams said.

Orange fencing now surrounds the scene, and it will for about another week of intensive clean-up - a reminder of a terrible crash, and, in a way, a symbol of resolve.

"The Y is more than that building that was spared. It's also the community of people who are in it," said YMCA spokeswoman Jessica Fain. "And so they're very concerned for those who've been affected by the tragedy."

The YMCA's chaplain has reached out to the family of the crash victims to offer comfort and support.

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