11/17/05 — Wayne pilot hurt in crash at New Bern

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Wayne pilot hurt in crash at New Bern

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 17, 2005 1:50 PM

A Wayne County man was rescued in New Bern yesterday after the small passenger plane he was flying crashed into the Neuse River, officials said.

Kent Larson, a pilot and pilot instructor, got out of the plane on his own and swam through 12-foot deep water before grabbing a buoy to stay afloat, officials said.

Craven County Emergency Services reported that at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday, dozens of motorists called 911 to inform officials a plane had lost control and plummeted into the river.

Within minutes, a large group of emergency personnel were on the scene. New Bern Fire and Police Department boats teamed with a few locals to make the rescue.

The accident occurred off of Old Cherry Point Road near the Dixie Chemical Company in New Bern, according to reports.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation. However, officials reported high winds coming up off the river at the time of the crash.

Larson suffered minor injuries and was taken to Craven Regional Medical Center. He was then flown to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville for further evaluation.

A spokesman from the hospital said she checked on Larson Wednesday evening and that he was in good condition. She added that as of this morning, he had been fully treated and released.