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For the first time, the pilot involved in a crash near the Hickory Regional Airport is talking about the ordeal.
"I heard the ka-pow and then the engine just quit,” said Jay Jarvis.
Jarvis has undergone several surgeries since that accident three weeks ago.
IMAGES: Small plane crash in Long View
Jarvis said the engine failure couldn't have happened at a worse time just a few hundred feet up near the end of the runway.
Jarvis showed Channel 9 some of the injuries he got during the crash about a half a mile from the airport.
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:16:12 -0500
He said he doesn't remember much after his Beechcraft Bonanza crashed, striking a tree, but he does recall the moments leading up to the accident.
The plane had just taken off and had climbed to only a few hundred feet.
CHOPPER 9: Small plane crashes in Long View
"We heard a big bang, just like a small explosion in the engine compartment. It wasn't spitting or sputtering just a ka-bam. I knew deep down it was just some kind of catastrophic failure of the engine,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis and his three passengers were going to Greenville, South Carolina.
After the engine quit, he had only 15-20 seconds to get the plane down.
His first instinct was to keep the plane from stalling, hoping to buy time to find a place to land.
As he searched, all he saw were trees and homes that he desperately wanted to avoid.
"Not many options. There were no options. The last memory I have is getting by one of the houses and thinking, 'I don't know if we are going to clear this,' and then all of the sudden we just got around one of the houses, and then breathing a sigh of relief and realizing there is a tree lined up right on my nose," Jarvis said.
Jarvis used his rudder at the very last second to keep him and his passengers from feeling the full impact of the tree by slightly turning the plane.
The tree struck the wing instead.
Out of the four people inside the plane he was injured the worst and will have a lengthy recovery but has already been helped by the people he was flying with that day.
"I didn't truly feel better until after I talked to everybody, my passengers, and when I found out they were all OK then I started feeling better. Then I started getting confidence from folks saying, 'Hey you did the best in a bad situation,'” Jarvis said.
Already the National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report has come out supporting what Jarvis told Channel 9. They found a hole in the engine case near the No. 1 cylinder.
FAA, NTSB investigate after 4 hurt in plane crash on takeoff from Hickory
A utility company left unused utility poles in place next to a new one installed on a Mount Holly man’s property.
Both sets sat there for more than a year until he turned to Action 9’s Jason Stoogenke, who got the old poles removed in one business day.
"It's terrible,” Rodney Eppes said before any action was taken. “I mean, it's just not acceptable that you got to have poles stuck in your yard like that."
He said it started in 2013.
Duke Energy put in two new poles and transferred its lines but couldn't finish because it needed AT&T to switch its lines before it could remove the old poles.
Eppes lived with this situation -- two poles side-by-side in two places in his yard.
He said he called AT&T and didn’t get a good response.
“That's like, the situation: How do we get rid of the old poles?" he asked Stoogenke.
Action 9 got in touch with AT&T on a Friday, and crews were in Eppes's yard Monday switching the lines and removing the old poles.
"I believe there (were) still lines on the pole that (did) not belong to AT&T," an AT&T official said, but the official did not explain what took so long.
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A felony traffic stop briefly put a day care on lockdown in Belmont Wednesday.
Police said they were searching for Justin Upton, who was wanted for several felony warrants from multiple states.
Officials spotted Upton’s Dodge Caravan at a gas station at Interstate 85 and McAdenville Road.
CHOPPER IMAGES: Felony traffic stop prompts Belmont daycare lockdown
Police stopped the van in front of the Newbridge Children’s Academy, on South Central Avenue in Belmont.
Police found Upton inside the vehicle along with four children.
Troopers said they had guns drawn, which is standard procedure due to the charges involved.
The warrants included larceny of firearms, obtaining property by false pretenses and theft of property over $10,000 in value.
The day care center sent the following letter to parents:
“The safety of your child is always our top priority. We do have lockdown procedures at NewBridge and I want to make you aware of them. When this type of situation occurs, the children are locked in the building and the blinds are closed. We try to operate as usual so not to cause alarm to the children. If needed, we will turn the lights off and have the children sit as far away from doors and windows as possible. We did encounter the need to have a lockdown today at approximately 12:45 PM. An arrest was made outside of NewBridge Children's Academy today. It will be on the news tonight as news helicopters and vans begin to arrive.
The staff did an incredible job getting the children in lockdown. I could not be more proud of how everyone came together to protect our children, our staff, and our school. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions regarding this matter,” wrote the director of the day care Amanda Hommell.