A small plane crashed just after takeoff Wednesday morning from Daytona Beach International Airport, killing an Embry-Riddle student pilot and FAA instructor.
- Plane crashes just after takeoff from Daytona Beach airport
- 2 people were killed, according to Sheriff Mike Chitwood
- Plane was operated by Embry-Riddle, university says
The Piper PA-28 plane went down at Tomoka Farms Road and Bellevue Avenue, confirmed Volusia County Sheriff's deputies, who were called out just before 11 a.m. by witnesses who saw the plane go down.
The Daytona Flea and Farmers Market, Daytona International Speedway and Interstate 95 are nearby.
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University President P. Barry Butler confirmed in a statement that a student pilot and a passenger, a Federal Aviation Administration pilot examiner, died in the crash.
"Our prayers and deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by this devastating loss," he said.
A cause of the crash has not been determined, Butler said. But Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the witnesses told investigators that a wing fell off the plane. The wing was located on the opposite side of Tomoka Farms Road, about 150 to 200 yards away from the fuselage.
"It could've been a lot worse. Fortunately for us, the plane crashed in a field... a quarter of a mile to the north, and you're in the flea market and the campground," Chitwood said.
No distress call was made, he said.
Their identities of the two people aboard have not been released.
"We are aware of the airplane accident that occurred today," said Anne Botteri, vice president of marketing and communications at ERAU. "We are cooperating fully with the investigation of this tragic accident. We will be releasing further information as soon as it’s available."
According to National Transportation Safety Board data, there has been only one other fatal crash involving Embry-Riddle aircraft at Daytona Beach International Airport since 1994. That crash was determined to be a suicide.
The NTSB and FAA are investigating the crash. ERAU is working with authorities.
Reporter Greg Angel and digital media producers contributed to this report.