FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Pieces of a flight school plane that crashed last week, killing the instructor and student pilot on board, were found along a half-mile-long debris path, according to the preliminary report released Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Piper PA-44 went down about 11 p.m. July 13 in a wooded area of a state park on the eastern shore of the Intracoastal Waterway near the Flagler-St. Johns county line.
The instructor, 70-year-old Jeffrey Salan, and the student, 27-year-old Mohammed Alanazi, died when the plane crashed and landed upside down in a clump of trees near Pellicer Creek, just west of Marineland.
According to the NTSB report, the right and left wings, baggage door and a part of the right stabilator were found in a half-mile-long, 0.2-mile-wide debris path that spanned across water and marshland northwest of the main wreckage.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Piper PA-44 was approximately 22 miles north of Ormond Beach when it lost radar contact after telling Air Traffic Control at the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport that it was flying at about 5,4000 feet and had the airport in sight. The plane had taken off from Brunswick, Georgia.
The U.S. Coast Guard said witnesses saw the plane flying low that night, heard sputtering noises and saw the aircraft spiral down in a swampy area in the Matanzas River.
After hours of searching, the main part of the plane was found about 11:41 a.m. July 14 by air units, the NTSB said.
The agency has not provided any indication of what might have caused the plane to go down, but the crash is still being investigated.
Salan was a flight instructor for Sunrise Aviation Fight School. A spokesman for the school said Salan and Alanazi were on a routine night training flight.
Salan's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Volusia Memorial Funeral Home in Ormond Beach. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Salan's family with funeral expenses.