NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A flight instructor who died in a plane crash at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport earlier this month appeared to correct the plane just moments before the crash that took her life and seriously injured two others.
According to a recently released report of the crash from the National Transportation Safety Board, a witness told investigators he thought the instructor, 23-year-old Viktoria Theresie Izabelle Ljungman, “tried to recover from the stall” because the plane’s wings leveled out moments before the left wing dropped again as the plane eventually struck the ground.
The single-engine Cessna 172 airplane crashed around 3:05 p.m. on October 6. Ljungman died at the scene. She was a licensed commercial pilot as well as a flight instructor. Two 18-year-old students in the aviation class were taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
According to the NTSB report, the plane “entered a steep pitch altitude” after it left the runway.
“The airplane began to turn left while in this nose-high attitude and reached an altitude of about 50-100 ft before it made a descending left-hand turn and impacted terrain west of the runway.”
The witness, who was also a flight instructor, was taxing on the taxiway at the time of the crash. The witness told NTSB officials the plane was in a “crazy” nose-high pitch (about 30 degrees nose up) on takeoff. He described Ljungman’s actions in an attempt to correct the plane as a “power on stall.”
Investigators say all major parts of the plane were recovered following the crash and there was no postimpact fire.
Friends of Ljungman described her as “authentic” with people naturally drawn to her. Ljungman’s former roommate, Myana Mabry, described her as the nicest person she has met.
Mabry and Ljungman met during their first year at Hampton University. They both lived in Kennedy Hall together, and later became roommates. She described Ljungman as intelligent and an adventurous person who radiated positive energy.
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