GAINESVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A pilot instructor and her student have died after a small plane they were in crashed Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the crash happened just after 4 p.m. as the twin-engine Piper PA-34 was preparing to land at Gainesville Municipal Airport (about 75 miles north of Dallas). The plane crashed about a quarter mile from the runway.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said student pilot Yu Qiu, 22, of China was pronounced dead at the scene.
Instructor Francesca Norris, 25, of North Richland Hills was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas with critical injuries. She later died, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner.
The US Aviation Academy has since come out with a statement regarding the crash.
“All of our hearts are heavy as we collectively mourn our student and instructor. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and loved ones. The safety of our students and instructors remains at the cornerstone of our training program and, with that in mind, we are assisting with the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities as they investigate the accident,” the academy said. “We will also be conducting our own internal investigation. We will have grievance counselors on campus throughout the week to assist our students and staff. The grief we feel at this loss is immense.”
The National Transportation Safety Board said it will be investigating the crash.