Man's arm severed by airplane propeller in airport accident

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. —

FAA officials are probing an accident at the Stanly County Airport, where a man's arm was severed by an airplane propeller.

Airport officials said the victim was a flight school student with Pressley Aviation.  He had started his day by flying from Goose Creek Airport in Union County to Stanly County Airport.

Officials said the victim, Vineet Singh, was piloting the Cessna 172 Sunday afternoon, and had landed the plane when the accident happened.

"Somehow or another, he ended up in the propeller. A propeller moving on an aircraft, you're not going to be able to see, but you can hear it," said airport director David Griffin.

Singh's arm was severed above the elbow.

Griffin said Pressley Aviation owner Leighton Pressley, and his 16-year-old daughter were at the airport when the accident happened and a flight instructor was in the plane at the controls.

Pressley was able to use his belt as a tourniquet until emergency responders arrived, and may have saved Singh's life, according to officials.

Singh was airlifted to CMC Main, where he was listed in fair condition Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said Singh had completed nearly 60 hours of flight experience and was close to reaching his private pilot certification.

"His goal, as I understand it, was to finish up this week," Griffin said.

In October, another plane owned by Pressley Aviation crashed shortly after takeoff near Rocky River Road in Union County.  At the time, FAA officials said a certified pilot was at the controls and no one was hurt.  Leighton Pressley says a pilot not affiliated with Pressley Aviation rented that plane.

Tuesday, FAA officials told Channel 9 that Pressley Aviation is not an FAA-certified flight instruction school, but officials said that four of the five pilots listed on the company's website are FAA-certified instructors.