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Two dead after plane crashes at Santa Monica Airport

Flight instructor, student killed during plane crash at Santa Monica Airport
Flight instructor, student killed during plane crash at Santa Monica Airport 02:13

A plane crashed at the Santa Monica Airport Thursday afternoon, killing two people and prompting a large-scale investigation.


Santa Monica Fire Department confirmed that they had been called to the scene of the crash at around 4:40 p.m., located at the Santa Monica Airport in the 3300 block of Donald Douglas Loop. 

Sky2 over the scene showed the charred wreckage of the plane on the runway, surrounded by emergency vehicles.

During a press conference Thursday evening, National Transportation Safety Board official Elliott Thomas indicated that the occupants onboard the single-engine, two-seat Piper Sport plane were a flight instructor and a student on an introductory flight lesson.

The airplane reportedly "pitched aggressively nose up" as it was preparing to land, causing it to climb straight up before falling nearly 100 feet to the ground. 

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement on the crash, which read:

"A single-engine Piper Sport crashed at Santa Monica Airport in Santa Monica, Calif., around 5 p.m. local time today. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.

After investigators verify the aircraft registration number at the scene, the FAA will release it (usually on the next business day) on this webpage. You can look up the aircraft by its registration number on this webpage.

Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents."

They warned of possible traffic delays due to the crash. 

Officials disclosed that they planned to remove the wreckage sometime Friday morning, and at that point the airport would be able to return to normal business.

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