Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N5185R: Accident occurred February 17, 2020 at Grays Creek Airport (2GC), Fayetteville, North Carolina

Cumberland County could be facing two lawsuits, one from the mother of a plane crash victim and the other suit from a whistleblower. 

Dominique Northcutt remains in a coma more than three months after a plane crash at Gray’s Creek Airport in Cumberland County. She suffered a severe brain injury in that crash. 

“It’s literally killing me on the inside, slowly but surely,” Jerolyn Northcutt, Dominique’s mother said. “She’s just a bubbly, outgoing person.”

Dominique Northcutt went to an aviation career day sponsored by Cumberland County Workforce Development at Gray’s Creek Airport.

Part of that event allowed students to go up in a plane. Northcutt, 25, was one of four people onboard when it crashed. 

“Had the county listened, this young lady would not be experiencing, what she’s experiencing. Nor the other victims,” said Kimberly Cribb, a former Cumberland County Workforce Development employee. 

Cribb said she reached out to Northcutt’s attorney, Allen Rogers, hoping to share her experiences.

After more than 23 years with the county, Cribb was fired.

The notice of dismissal shows Cribb went to the Board of Commissioners and County Management, making multiple allegations about Workforce Development Department Head, Nedra Rodriguez. 

The county investigated and determined the claims “were unfounded and made for the sole purpose of discrediting Rodriguez.” Cribb was fired back in June 2018. 

“Somebody else needed to know that things could have been different,” Cribb said.

“Why wouldn’t you listen to someone?” Jerolyn Northcutt asked.

Under state law, whistleblowers are not protected at the county level.

Still, Cribb said she intends to file a lawsuit.

Northcutt said her daughter doesn’t have health insurance. She, too, plans to sue the county.

Jake Parsons, 19
Flight instructor and commercial pilot 
October 24, 2019: "I began flight instructing at Cape Fear Aviation"

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hope Mills, NC
Accident Number: ERA20LA105
Date & Time: 02/17/2020, 1350 EST
Registration: N5185R
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 4 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On February 17, 2020, about 1350 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172M, N5185R, was substantially damaged during takeoff in Hope Mills, North Carolina. The commercial pilot and three passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to information provided by the operator, the purpose of the flight was to orient local youth with general aviation. The commercial pilot, who was also a flight instructor, was seated in the right cockpit seat. The passengers occupied the other three seats. During the takeoff, the passenger in the left seat reached for the control yoke and pulled back on the controls. The flight instructor called out for him to let go; however, the passenger did not relinquish the controls. The airplane pitched up to a near vertical position, stalled, then collided with terrain adjacent to the runway. Witnesses watching the takeoff reported that the engine continued to run normally during the accident sequence.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The fuselage and both wings were structurally damaged. The propeller separated from the engine. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N5185R
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:No 
Operator: Cape Fear Aviation Maintenance Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFAY, 186 ft msl
Observation Time: 1421 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 90°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hope Mills, NC (2GC)
Destination: Hope Mills, NC (2GC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Serious
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.893611, -78.843611 (est)


  1. When doing something like this, wouldn't there be a preflight briefing to the novice in the left seat - "Don't ever touch the controls"

  2. Or a judo chop to the throat of the child?

  3. Passenger in the left seat:
    • December 25, 2019 — Justin Emmanuel Elliott, 24, of 9144 Colliers Chapel Church Road, Linden, was charged with driving while impaired, driving left of center and following too closely. Bond set at $3,000; court date is February 13, 2020.