Bryan said a call came into dispatch at about 10:45 a.m. concerning the crash near Salem Drive in southwest Wilson County. Emergency officials arrived to find Carter dead at the scene.
Bryan said Federal Aviation Administration officials were assisting sheriff’s investigators in determining what caused the crash.
“The plane apparently had some type of problem, but we don’t know what that was yet,” Bryan said. “We will determine if there was any type of medical condition that could have happened while he was in the air. It doesn’t appear there was any type of mechanical issue with the plane.”
Bryan said Carter was well known in the flying community and owned the aircraft he kept at a nearby airstrip.
After interviewing several witnesses, Bryan described Carter as experienced.
“The information we are getting is that he was an experienced pilot with these type of Ultralight aircraft,” Bryan said. “He’d been flying for several years.”
Ethan Brown, 7 and a second grader at Watertown Elementary School, said he heard the plane go down while he and neighbor Will Clegg, 10, were playing in Brown’s backyard next to the field where the aircraft crashed.
“We were playing when we heard the plane go down,” Brown said.
Ethan’s father, Luke Brown, said Ultralight aircraft are a common sight around their home.
“You can see them flying all the time around here, but they hardly ever fly when it’s windy,” Luke Brown said. “It’s pretty neat.”
Luke Brown said the airstrip is called Lawicki Field, and is home to Chapter 104 of the Middle Tennessee Ultralight Group, according to the group’s website. The website lists Carter as the chapter's secretary.
Thomas Woodard, who lives nearby on Simmons Bluff, said the group is often seen flying.
“They are usually, during the summer, out here about every weekend,” Woodard said. “I know there are about four or five planes out here. They fly over here all the time during the summer.”