Two dead in Gainesville plane crash - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Two dead in Gainesville plane crash

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The engine of a plane that crashed near Gainesville Municipal Airport on July 28, 2019. (KTEN) The engine of a plane that crashed near Gainesville Municipal Airport on July 28, 2019. (KTEN)
The engine of a plane that crashed near Gainesville Municipal Airport on July 28, 2019. (KTEN) The engine of a plane that crashed near Gainesville Municipal Airport on July 28, 2019. (KTEN)

GAINESVILLE, Texas -- A pilot and a student pilot died in a fiery crash north of Gainesville Municipal Airport Sunday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane "crashed under unknown circumstances."

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Mark Tackett told KTEN that the Cooke County Sheriff's Office took the first call at 4:22 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The twin-engine Piper Seneca was approaching the airport when it went down in a pasture about 440 yards short of a runway.

"We found the plane had burned," Tackett said. "There was one person inside that was pronounced dead at the scene."

That person was later identified by DPS as Chinese student pilot Yu Qui, 22.

The pilot instructor, 25-year-old Francesca Norris of North Richland Hills, Texas, was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas in critical condition. She later died, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

It was not clear who was at the controls when the aircraft went down.

Denton-based US Aviation Academy confirmed that the two aboard the aircraft were an instructor at the academy and her student. 

"The safety of our students and instructors remains at the cornerstone of our training program and, with that in mind, we are assisting with the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities as they investigate the accident," the academy said in a Facebook post. "We will also be conducting our own internal investigation."

Tracking information provided by FlightAware.com indicated that the aircraft had taken off from Denton Enterprise Airport at 2:40 p.m. and traveled north just across the Oklahoma border. It then circled back south and turned east to the area of the Gainesville airport, where it circled a number of times before crashing. The plane went off the radar at 4:02 p.m.

Public records show that Piper Seneca was built in 1973 and was last certified in 2015.

Troopers are working with Federal Aviation Administration investigators to determine what happened.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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