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Subject: Five Killed in Private Plane Crash

North Carolina
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Date Posted: March 02, 2003 9:53:25 EDT

A small plane crashed shortly after takeoff in northwestern North Carolina, killing all five people on board, authorities said.

The Beech A-36 went down Saturday evening in a lightly wooded area near the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport, Surry County emergency services director John Shelton said.

The Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta said the plane had left the airport en route to Elizabethtown.

Shelton said it disappeared from radar screens when it was about three miles out, but the wreckage was found about 1 3/4 miles from the airport.

"The assumption is that the plane was trying to get back to the airport because it had gotten into trouble," Shelton said. Investigators had found no record of the pilot making a distress call, he said.

Judy Crisp, a family friend and assistant to former state Sen. Oscar Harris of Dunn, said the victims included the former legislator's son, Oscar Nathan Harris II, 32; his wife, Lisa, 31; his daughter, Sueanna, 2; and his son, Oscar Nathan Harris III, who was 10 months old. Dixie Honeycutt, another family friend, identified the other victim as Mary Scoggins, 21, believed to be a babysitter.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation Sunday was being hampered by the remoteness of the spot and muddy, rain-soaked ground, Shelton said.

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