‘Just a miracle’: Pilot, instructor survive small plane crash in Stanly County

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. — A single-engine Piper PA-28 aircraft with a student and instructor onboard crashed at a Boy Scout camp in Stanly County Monday afternoon after experiencing engine failure, officials said.

First responders were called after 4:30 p.m. to Camp John J. Barnhardt on Cannon Road for the crash.

The plane was trying to return to the Stanly County Airport after reporting the problem.

Everyone onboard survived. However, the student had serious injuries, and the pilot had minor injuries.

Marti Lakey’s son, Spencer Lakey, was the student pilot on that plane.

“(I’m) feeling pretty incredible and really blessed,” Marti Lakey said. “We are just overwhelmed that he is safe.”

>>Listen to the 911 call made by the instructor below

Spencer Lakey was walking and talking the day after the crash, she said.

“It’s just a miracle,” the mother said. “He has something in store for both of these men and he allowed them to see today -- and I’m just -- we are just overjoyed with this miracle.”

The plane is registered to the Stanly Business Consultants.

Lakey was taking lessons at Pressley Aviation Flight School. On its Facebook page from July 17, the school congratulated the student pilot on his first solo flight.

He was flying with instructor Noah Simpson on Monday when the plane crashed.

Spencer Lakey’s grandmother, Jeanette Fields, also attributed their safety to a higher power.

“I think God was their co-pilot,” Fields said.

Simpson told Channel 9 Tuesday he was sore and had some lacerations.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate

This is a developing story, check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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