WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The investigation continues into a deadly plane crash that killed two people in Pitt County Saturday evening.
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Association are leading the investigation into the crash, which happened just before 6 p.m. Saturday at the South Oaks Aerodrome Airport. A small two-seater aircraft crashed off the airport’s runway.
Officials said the two people who died were Alan Stancill and Susan Emory Stancill, two well-known members of the Pitt County community and owners of Stancill’s Wild Game Meat Processing.
The Facebook post read in part, “As many longtime customers, friends, and family know, Alan Stancill & Susan Emory Stancill were avid sport pilot enthusiasts, among their many other pursuits of life. It is with deepest sorrow, we report that on Saturday, May 22, 2021 following a successful flight to visit with grandchildren, Susan & Alan were involved in an accident upon landing near their home, and this morning woke up into the glory of their heavenly father.
“While there are no words to truly comfort and ease the impact of such an unexpected passing, knowing that their final destination was never in question, gives us hope that one day we will enjoy their smiling faces again.
“Without doubt, running a business came in a distant second to their one true purpose: ensuring as many as possible could join them in their heavenly home. If their life and work has had any impact on you, it was done with the goal of showing the true heart of what it means to serve others, and to serve Christ.”
“Most people knew them through one of two ways … either their owning of a business where they did wild game processing … so a lot of hunters … or they also knew them through their efforts to minister to those in the community,” said Michael Emory, son of Alan and Susan Stancill.
On Saturday, the happily-married couple of 20 years was flying home from the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in Brunswick County after visitng their grandchildren. It was a routine trip the family said they flew frequently.
Family member said flying planes has been a hobby of the two for a long time.
“He and my mother too they were not stagnant people … they wre truly outgoing and and alwaus willing to do something … they were into sailing they were into flying they were into motorcycling,” Emory said.
Owners of a home near the airport who wanted to remain anonymous, shared security footage of the plane in its attempted landing on the runway. The aircrft is shown veering off toward the end, crashing into the treeline.
Emory said the family is filled with deep sorry, telling 9 On Your Side the Stancills were well known in their aviation community.
“In your heart you say ‘oh my gosh who is it.’ Because we watch these guys,” Emory said. “They were a very big part of the community. So much support came out, fire, EMS and they all worked together, and then us as a community gathered down there in support for each other.”
Multiple agencies, including crews from Ayden and Winterville FIRE & EMS along with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, were among the first responders.
Family members said that whle they are saddened, they are working to find the good.
“I think it would be very hardpressed to find anyone that Alan and Susan Stancill did not touch on a personal level,” Emory said. “There is some divine purpose in it that although saddened by it… that we don’t understand but will work to find the usefulness and the good in it moving forward.”