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.
The names of the deceased have not been released, but the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said they were a man and a woman.
“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.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.