The Federal Aviation Administration arrived yesterday to investigate a small plane crash in Newton from dusk Sunday. The crash occurred around 8 p.m. Sunday night, killing one person, according to the Catawba County Sheriffs Office, who said one person was on board, James Thomas, from Denver, was the owner of the experimental plane. Friends said he had taken off from a grass field at Laney's Airport, 4 miles away. Witnesses said that they heard the engine quit more than once before the plane pancaked into a field. Family members said he had been flying for about four years.