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Wife killed and husband hurt in crash of a small plane in Siler City

Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2015

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Siler City, NC - A woman was killed and her husband injured when their single-engine airplane crashed into trees while trying to land at the Siler City Airport in Chatham County on Tuesday morning.

Frederick Calvin Para and his wife, Barbara Harris Para, of Whispering Pines were aboard a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 that crashed in some woods near the runway around 8 a.m. Barbara Para, 69, later died at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where her husband, 72, was listed in stable condition. The single propeller plane has room for six people, but the couple was the only two people onboard.

Assistant airport manager Ben Marion said the plane was coming from Southern Pines for maintenance. A low ceiling kept the plane from making an approach to the single runway from one end, and the pilot circled around to land from the opposite direction, from the southwest, Marion said.

It was unclear what happened while the plane was going around, Marion said, but it went into trees east of the runway while making the second approach to the 5,000-foot paved airstrip. The ceiling was listed as being about 200 feet at the time of the accident, though it was several thousand feet earlier and later.

The Bonanza, manufactured in 1981, is owned by a company called BHB of the Sand Hills LLC owned by the Paras, according to Federal Aviation Administration and N.C. Secretary of State records.

The crash brought Siler City firefighters, Siler City police and Chatham County sheriff’s deputies, the State Highway Patrol, Chatham County EMS and officials from the county and state emergency management offices.

This is the fifth crash at the Siler City Airport in the last 22 years, according to airport officials.

There were no injuries on the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

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Wife killed and husband hurt in crash of a small plane in Siler City