Chilling air traffic control audio captured the final moments of a young flight instructor who was killed in a plane crash in Virginia when her student pulled the small plane up at too steep an angle at takeoff.
Swedish native Viktoria Theresie Izabelle Ljungman died when the single-engine Cessna 172 stalled and plummeted from about 30 metres about 3pm Thursday at Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, Virginia.
Student pilot Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode and another unidentified 18-year-old student at Hampton University — were taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, the New York Post reports.
Mr Oyebode was later transferred to VCU Medical Center in Richmond.
The air traffic control audio captured the moments right before and after the accident as the pilot was cleared for takeoff.
“Cleared for takeoff, 97883. Caution wake turbulence,” the pilot responds to the controller, referring to a standard warning given about the effects of taking off behind a larger aircraft, according to audio captured by LiveATC.net.
Moments later, someone is heard saying, “We got a crash!”
“883, are you OK,” the controller says, referring to the plane’s tail number, N97883. “Are you on this frequency?”
No response is heard before rescue personnel are dispatched to the scene.
It was unclear who was on the radio during the transmission because either pilot could communicate with ATC regardless of who was at the controls.
There was no indication of whether wake turbulence was involved in the crash, which remains under investigation.
Ljungman’s family shared their appreciation for the outpouring of support — saying in a statement that they are “devastated by this enormous loss.”
“She was not even 22 and a half years old, and we are devastated by this enormous loss,” Ljungman’s family said in a statement released Monday, according to WTKR.
“To know Viktoria was to love her, and not just for her family. Everyone who interacted with Viktoria admired her kindness and intelligence, and respected her tremendous dedication and work ethic,” her family said.
“Viktoria loved Hampton University and her Pirate family. We deeply appreciate that Hampton University made it possible for Viktoria to study in the U.S. on a full scholarship, to achieve her dream of becoming a pilot, and to compete for her school on the tennis courts and on the sailing team,” her loved ones continued.
“We also wish to express our appreciation for all the manifestations of love and support from to all those in Virginia and the U.S. who knew and loved Viktoria, and ask that our privacy be respected at this very difficult time. The Ljungman Family, Torekov and Gothenburg, Sweden,” they added.
Ljungman attended Hampton University in Virginia and earned her pilot license in March 2021, followed by her flight instructor license this April.
This story was published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission.