ERWIN, N.C. — Investigators say the 71-year-old pilot of an ultralight aircraft has died after it crashed taking off from a North Carolina airport.

Authorities told media outlets that a gust of wind appeared to push the aircraft toward trees as it took off Friday afternoon from the Harnett County JetPort near Erwin.

Investigators say Marshall Watkins appears to try to adjust his direction away from the trees, but the aircraft turned sharply and crashed to the ground.

Watkins was the only person on board.