NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A small plane crashed Thursday afternoon at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, killing the flight instructor on board, Virginia State Police confirmed.
The single-engine Cessna 172 airplane crashed around 3:05 p.m. Our 10 On Your Side investigative team confirmed it is owned by Rick Aviation, a flight school in Newport News.
In a news release from the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, officials say the aircraft crashed into the woods upon take-off.
State Police added that the plane reached an altitude of approximately 100 feet, veered off course and crashed into the embankment adjacent to the runway.
Three people were on board the plane when it crashed. Police say the plane was piloted by a student, 18-year-old Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode of Hanover, Maryland. He was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, then transferred to VCU Hospital in Richmond.
State Police officials say the female instructor, identified as 23-year-old Viktoria Theresie Izabelle Ljungman of Williamsburg, died at the scene. She was a licensed commercial pilot as well as a flight instructor.
10 On Your Side received a statement from her roommate. “Viktoria didn’t have a single bad bone in her body. Not only was she nice, but she was intelligent, beautiful, adventurous, punctual, a risk taker, and radiate(d) positive energy,” said Myana Mabry. “She was truly someone you only meet once. And I will love her until the day after forever.”
A third person, an 18-year-old male, also suffered life-threatening injuries. Both 18-year-olds are students in an aviation class, according to investigators. 10 On Your Side also confirmed with Hampton University they are both students there.
“Out of respect for the students and their families, we have no further comment at this time,” said a spokesperson from the university.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the crash.
Virginia State Police provided an update Friday morning on the investigation and said it revealed that Oyebode attempted to pull the aircraft up at too steep an angle at takeoff. This caused the engine to stall, which led to the crash.
The official cause of the crash remains under investigation.