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Names released in deadly Onslow County plane crash

Federal investigators arrived just before noon on Friday.
Federal investigators arrived just before noon on Friday.(WITN)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 8:25 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:03 PM EDT
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Authorities have released the names of two people killed in Thursday’s plane crash in Onslow County.

The Highway Patrol says the pilot, William Roberts, and passenger Willie Hobbs, Jr. died. Troopers tell WITN that two children were injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the crash scene this afternoon.

The crash happened in a heavily wooded area adjacent to the Holly Ridge-Topsail Island Airport around 5:00 p.m.

Documents say the Mooney M20J is owned by Roberts who lived in Apex.

The Highway Patrol says witnesses saw and heard the plane seem to have “some type of stress” and be unable to gain enough lift during takeoff.

The NTSB said at an afternoon news conference that all parts of the aircraft were found at the wreckage site. The downed plane is expected to be moved with the next 18-24 hours.

A pilot who has used the airport said nearby power lines make it a challenge to navigate. Crews were seen this morning working on those lines, but we do not know yet if they played a part in the crash or not.

Federal investigators arrived at the crash scene right around noon.

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