KILL DEVIL HILLS -- A pilot and a passenger were hurt Sunday morning after their plane crashed on the edge of the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
The plane came down before 11 a.m. near First Flight Airport, the airstrip located on the grounds of the park.
The crash site also was close to homes in Baum Bay.
"I was in the house, and i heard like a thwonk, like someone dropped a big box on the floor or something," explained Kathryn Fagan.
Warren Wrenn was in his car with his daughter, waiting for his wife to join them for church.
"We looked up, and finally spotted the plane in the air, and it was actually almost doing a U-turn," Wrenn described. "When we looked up, it was pretty much on a ninety degree, hit the top of the trees, and landed pretty hard."
Wrenn had his daughter call 9-1-1, while he rushed to help the pilot and passenger.
"When I got down there, you know, I could hear 'em talking. There's no gasoline leak to speak of, and no smoke, or no fire, or anything," said Wrenn. "Quite a few cuts, and a little blood out there, so I understand the pilot might have a little more serious above his eye. There was a large gash there."
Cyndy Holda, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, told 13News Now paramedics took the pilot and his passenger to The Outer Banks Hospital. A crew then flew the pilot to a hospital in Greenville.
Holda said the plane was a fixed-wing single-engine Fantasy Air SRO.
First Flight Airport remained opened as park rangers secured the crash site. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to be there Monday.
"I recognize, you know, the shadows and the sounds of the airplane as someone's getting ready to land. This one was a little different," offered Wrenn, along with his own suspicions of what may have led to the crash. "You could tell, obviously, the wind had almost turned that thing up on its side as it was trying to land."