A pilot and his student escaped serious injury after a bird strike forced them to make an emergency landing in a field behind two houses on N.C. 43. 

The single-engine plane crashed about 3:05 p.m. on Monday behind 3157 N.C. 43 North, according to authorities. 

Red Oak Fire Department Chief George Darden said the men were on a training flight and had just taken off from Pitt-Greenville Airport. They were headed toward Maury Correctional Facility.

The lightweight Cub trainer struck a bird near the crash site, and the pilot turned to head back to Pitt Greenville Airport, Darden said.

"They landed it in the bean field because it was the largest open area and they could not make it back to the airport," Darden said. 


The pilot was able to glide the plane down toward the ground, Darden said. He hit the brakes at the end of the glide and the plane flipped over. 

The fuel was contained in the wing and the plane did not catch on fire or smoke, he said.

The student suffered minor injuries and was transported to Vidant Medical Center. The instructor was not hurt.

More than 30 first responders from the Red Oak Fire Department, the Pitt County Sheriff's Office and Pitt County Emergency Management responded to the crash.