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One Dead, Two Injured In Plane Crash Near Denton Airport

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DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – One person is dead and two injured in an overnight plane crash near the Denton airport.

Denton Police Spokesman Ryan Grelle says the FAA called Denton police around 2:15 Tuesday morning after losing radar and radio contact with a Cessna 172 small aircraft near the Denton airport.

The FAA says there were three people on the plane when it went down.

While officers were arriving at the airport they found a man who identified himself as the pilot of the plane along a road near the airport. The man was disoriented and unable to clearly identify where the wreckage was located.

The man was then taken by air ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital.  His condition is unknown.  Authorities say he’s been identified as a student pilot.

The plane was registered to U.S. Aviation, a training facility located at the airport.  The three were on a training flight that flew to a San Antonio-area airport and were on their return when the plane crashed just short of the Denton Airport runway.

In a statement, U.S. Aviation identified the three people.   Xie Chengjie, a Chinese student from Juneyao Airlines, was killed.  The other student, Zhao Shuran from China’s Shenzhen Airlines, was treated for his injuries at a local hospital and released.  The instructor, Michael Lin, was badly hurt and is still hospitalized, according to the statement.

Due to the lack of visibility overnight, Fort Worth’s police helicopter was called in to assist in the search from the air.

CBS 11’s Doug Dunbar explains the potential problems caused by the weather conditions at the time of the crash:

The plane was found just north of the airport’s runway around 6:00 a.m. When crews located the crash they confirmed one person had been killed.  A second passenger was pulled from the wreckage and also taken by air ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital.

The FAA says crash is under investigation.  Fog conditions existed early Tuesday morning.

U.S. Aviation says it has temporarily suspended its classes and is cooperating with the FAA.

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