A plane crash has claimed the life of one person and injured two others after a flight student increased altitude quickly during takeoff on Thursday, October 6. The flight instructor, who was killed in the crash, is 23-year-old Viktoria Theresie Ljungman of Sweden.
Ljungman, a licensed commercial pilot, was serving as a flight instructor for two aviation students when the accident occurred. One of the victims, 18-year-old Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode, was taken to VCU Hospital in Richmond.
The other victim, also an 18-year-old student onboard, suffered life-threatening injuries. Their name has not been revealed. A spokesperson for the Hampton University said that both Oyebode and the 18-year-old male are students. According to Michelle Anaya of the Virginia State Police, the plane was preparing for takeoff in the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, when Oyebode tried to pull the plane up at “too steep of an angle.” Anaya added that this caused the plane to stall at a 100ft before it “dove” into a ditch. After takeoff from the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia, the plane crashed into the barrier next to the runway.
Hampton University canceled classes on Friday, October 7, and arranged a prayer service for the students and Ljungman, who was also on university’s women’s tennis team. Former Hampton University Tennis player Charlie Hudson said, “We were really each other’s family. I remember when I first met her, that’s all she ever wanted to do. She wanted to be a commercial pilot.”
Hudson said that everyone was shocked by the crash. Myana Mabry, Ljungman’s roommate, wrote in a tribute, “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.” Mabry added, “She was truly someone you only meet once. And I will love her until the day after forever.”
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the crash.
In a separate incident, a small airplane crashed into a northern Minnesota home while the occupants of the house were sleeping at night. Unfortunately, the crash resulted in the death of the three flyers on the plane. Two men and a woman, all in their 30s, were killed after the aircraft crashed into the Hermantown, Minnesota home, police said.
Duluth International Airport reported to the police that the Cessna 172 had disappeared from the radar shortly before midnight on October 1 and later, authorities were able to locate the wreckage after the small aircraft hit the second floor of a home. The occupants of the house reportedly said they were sleeping inches away from the crash and were, luckily, unharmed in the accident.