Authorities investigate the cause of fatal Lebanon Ultralight pl - WSMV News 4

Authorities investigate the cause of fatal Lebanon Ultralight plane crash

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Those who knew him say David "Bucky" Carter loved to fly. For years he's been going up in his Ultralight aircraft as a weekend hobby.

"He was an experienced pilot of this type of Ultralight and flew a lot," said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan. "He's been doing it for several years."

But, Saturday morning something went wrong. Not too long after he took off, Carter's lightweight plane went down in a field off of Edwards Road in Lebanon some time before 10:45 a.m.

Ethan brown, a 7-year-old neighbor, and his friend were playing in a field when it happened.  "We heard it going down and we heard it hit the ground," Brown said.

Carter died on the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration is working with the Wilson County Sheriff's office to determine what happened. Saturday night, authorities could not say if the cause was mechanical, medical or weather related.  "You never know what could've happened up there," Sheriff Bryan said.

The rural area is popular for recreational pilots. There is a private grass landing strip nearby where police say several pilots store lightweight planes to fly on the weekends.

Brown was active with the Middle Tennessee Ultralight group for at least five years, the group's president said. In the group's thirty year history, he says they've never had to deal with a death.

Retired FAA inspector Jerry Ritchey says the lightweight planes are strictly for leisure. "That aircraft did not have to meet any FAA standards," Ritchey said. "The individual determined the aircraft was safe to fly, the aircraft met his standards of strength and air worthiness."

Ultralight pilots often have control over where and when they fly. Most build the planes at their homes.

The FAA handbook outlines only a short list of rules regarding lightweight planes, including: they must be flown in daylight, must be single passenger, can have a maximum of five gallons of fuel, and must be used for recreation. There is no certification or medical check required for pilots.

Carter was just married a couple months ago. His friends shared memories of him as a nice man, who had a love for the skies.

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