First responders arrive on the scene of an airplane crash in Deep Gap.

DEEP GAP — The pilot in the Aug. 14 fatal plane crash reportedly informed a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper that he was “circling to land and the engine bogged down,” according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The incident resulted in the death of the 67-year-old pilot, Danny Dunn of Deep Gap. Dunn had crawled free from the wreckage and was located some distance away in a steep area, according to Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Major Kelly Redmon. The report states that Dunn told the trooper the aforementioned information before being transported for medical care. Dunn died later that day at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

The report states that at 8:45 a.m. that day, Dunn was flying a Fantasy Air Allegro 2000 when the plane impacted trees and the ground while in the traffic pattern at Dunn’s private airstrip on Hardin Road. He was the only person inside of the plane, according to officials after the incident. The report states that no flight plan was filed for the flight.

The privately owned and operated airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire, according to the report. The report also states that a witness also reported to the trooper that the airplane was circling and then the witness heard a loud “boom” sound. The airplane then crashed in a wooded area about 360 feet north to northeast of the grass runway.

“The wreckage and engine will be examined at a later date,” according to the report.

The day after the incident, NTSB spokesperson Peter Knudson said it could be one to two years before the investigation would be completed for a final cause to be determined.

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