DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A student pilot and instructor were killed Monday night when a plane crashed while taking off from Daytona Beach International Airport, according to officials.
The Cessna 172 aircraft crashed around 10 p.m. as, according to officials, the student was practicing takeoffs and landings.
"Looks like we found the wreckage. It is on fire at this time," said a man communicating with the airport tower.
Volusia County Sheriff's Office said on Tuesday afternoon the victims have been "tentatively identified as 22-year-old flight instructor Marlene Mork and 22-year-old student Gabriel De Souza Marinho Falcao."
"I came out of the shop to see what was going on and saw the fire burning," said Jesse Akins, who works near the airport and heard an explosion. "We thought maybe it was a brush fire and we got closer and we saw the black smoke and we realized it the material burning the tires or something, and that's when we figured out it was a plane crash."
Akins said he often sees student pilots practicing in the air.
"This is usually a pretty safe place. It always has been, even with the students flying. I never expected to see this," he said.
The Cessna is registered to Phoenix East Aviation, a nationally accredited flight school in Daytona Beach. According to its website, the school has been around for 40 years and trains students from all over the world.
An official for Phoenix East Aviation said scheduled flights will continue Tuesday, but students can choose not to participate.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, initial reports from the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that engine failure on departure caused the plane to go into a tailspin and crash. The investigation is ongoing, however.26421510
The crash occurred about 90 minutes after another plane went down in the backyard of a Merritt Island home, killing two people.
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