Two Dead In Roanoke Plane Crash

Aircraft crashes south of town's airport

Two people died in a small airplane crash just south of the Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke on Saturday afternoon.

The FAA said the crash involved a Piper PA 28 aircraft. The wreckage is in the woods south of the airport in Denton County.  It went down shortly after take off around 1:30 p.m.  Airport employees said the airplane sounded like it had mechanical issues right before the crash.

"The aircraft, when it crashed, the wings tore loose from the fuelsage," said Department of Public Safety spokesman Lonny Haschel. "The fuelsage was what actually went into the ground. There was not fire because the fuel was actually on the wings."

The pilot died at the scene. The flight instructor was taken to the hospital but DPS said he died at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The names of both victims have not been released. 

People at the Northwest Regional Airport said the plane's owner and a flight instructor were aboard when the plane crashed. 

A young flight student knew one of the crash victims. "I saw him about 15-20 minutes before he went up," said Alexander Vanover, flight student. "He said a couple of words and I said goodbye, shook his hand, and was out the door. I'm thinking of him. I remember that plane taking off, went inside to get my sunglasses and when I came out, there were ambulances running down the runway."

The FAA told NBC DFW that National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and investigators are headed to the scene.

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