A young flight instructor died in an aircraft accident in Virginia when her student lifted the tiny plane up at an excessively steep angle during takeoff, and the last minutes of her life were recorded on chilling audio from the air traffic control system.
At approximately 3 o’clock on Thursday afternoon at Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, Virginia, a single-engine Cessna 172 that was being flown by a Swedish citizen named Viktoria Therese Izabelle Ljungman lost power and fell from a height of approximately one hundred feet. Ljungman died in the accident.
Both Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode, a student pilot at Hampton University, and the second 18-year-old victim, who has not been named, suffered critical injuries and were transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center. After some time, Oyebode was transported to the VCU Medical Center in Richmond.
The audio from the air traffic control system caught the events that took place just before and after the tragedy, including the pilot being given permission to take off.
According to the audio that was obtained by LiveATC.net, the pilot answers the controller by saying, “Cleared for takeoff, 97883. Caution wake turbulence.”
After a few moments, it can be heard that someone is saying “We got a crash.”
“883, are you OK,” the controller asks, making reference to the tail number of the jet, which is N97883. “Are you on this frequency?”
There is no answer received prior to the dispatching of emergency personnel to the area.
It was unclear to tell which pilot was communicating with ATC over the radio since both pilots had the ability to do so regardless of who was controlling the aircraft.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that wake turbulence had a role in the accident, which is still being investigated.
The family of Ljungman has released a statement in which they express their gratitude for the outpouring of support and say 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,” according to a statement by Ljungman’s family.
“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 received her pilot license and flight instructor license in March 2021 and April of this year, respectively, from Hampton University in Virginia.