Small airplane crash near Rockwell leaves aircraft upside down, but pilot unharmed

Published 7:10 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2021

ROCKWELL — A small plane crashed into a grassy open field along Red Road between Rockwell and Granite Quarry on Wednesday afternoon.

The lone pilot flying the plane did not sustain serious injuries, only a scrape to his leg. According to authorities, the pilot exited the aircraft on his own before emergency responders arrived at the scene a little after 4 p.m. The incident was responded to by Rockwell Fire Department, Rowan County EMS, Granite Quarry Fire Department and other emergency personnel.

The pilot reported having engine troubles while flying his experimental plane in Rowan County. He told authorities at the scene that he’d taken off earlier in the afternoon from a small private grass strip near Concord.

The plane itself landed upside down and was relatively intact, minus a visibly broken propeller on the front and damage to the tail.

The scene was temporarily under the jurisdiction of the N.C. Highway Patrol. Trooper Shane Herrin said the National Transportation Safety Board would not be notified of the accident because there were no injuries, and that the owner of the plane would be responsible for removing it from the field.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s online plane registry, the aircraft is registered to Michael K. Melvin of Concord and is a fixed-wing single engine airplane. 

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

email author More by Ben