Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt, the famed former NASCAR driver and current racing analyst, and his wife were on a private jet that crashed into a fence at the end of a runway upon landing Thursday afternoon at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in east Tennessee, officials said.
The plane caught fire, but all five people aboard escaped and were taken to a hospital as a precaution, Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier said. We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington.
Earnhardt was scheduled to race one of the cars on August 31 in Darlington, South Carolina.
The first call came from the airport A man at the airport was the first person to call The caller explains he is at the main terminal about yards away from the crash.
When asked if anyone is in the plane, the caller answers yes but uncertain about how many people are on board. Later, they would learn the plane on fire had Earnhardt and his family aboard. The crash is under investigation National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Friday morning at the crash scene.
The plane ran off the runway upon landing at p. ET, local police said. When landing at about p.
The plane continued down the runway, went through a fence and came to a stop on a highway. The plane caught fire after landing, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which reported receiving no reports of injuries.
Two pilots and three passengers were aboard, the FAA said. The airplane fuselage was wrapped with a portion on the fence when it came to a stop, Carrier said. The aircraft was "pretty much destroyed," Carrier said. The flight was only 20 minutes long, from Statesville, North Carolina, and weather conditions were good, Hicks said.
The plane didn't have a flight data recorder, but it had a cockpit voice recorder, and some flight data was recorded by electronic flight systems that will be useful to the investigation, Hicks said. The airport was closed Thursday evening while authorities investigated the crash and attended to a fuel spill.
Earnhardt, son of the late racing legend Dale Earnhardt, has survived a fiery crash in the past. After a seemingly innocent-looking one-vehicle wreck, Earnhardt's car burst into flames -- engulfing the yellow Corvette in fire.
Earnhardt has credited a spiritual being for pulling him out of that fire to safety, according to interviews about that incident. All rights reserved.