2 people dead after aircraft crashes, catches fire at Florida airport

LANTANA, Fla. — Two men died Sunday night when a small plane crashed and caught fire at Palm Beach County Park Airport, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

Officials have not identified the men aboard the plan who died. Paramedics declared them dead at the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that the plane was a single-engine Diamond DA40 and that it crashed shortly after taking off from the airport, at about 9:25 p.m.

The two people were the only ones on board. Crews arrived minutes later and quickly extinguished the fire.

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The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, with the NTSB leading the probe. FAA investigators arrived Monday morning to assess the remnants of the plane, left crumpled by the crash's impact. The FAA's initial report, released Monday, said only that "unknown circumstances" caused the wreck.

The airport is a popular destination for small planes, often by people traveling to and from Palm Beach County from other states.

Four-seat plane made several stops en route to Florida

The tail number identified the plane as belonging to Diamond Aircraft Sales of Kentucky LLC in Henderson, Kentucky, a city along the Ohio River opposite Evansville, Indiana.

According to the aviation website FlightAware, the four-seat plane traveled between multiple airports Sunday.

  • It took off from Henderson at 11:58 a.m. ET, then landed in Pine Mountain, Georgia, at 2:39 p.m.

  • It then flew to Williston, Florida, southwest of Gainesville, leaving at 4:30 p.m. and landing at 6:40 p.m.

  • It left Williston for Lantana, Florida, at 7:23 p.m.

  • Its destination after Lantana was not immediately known.

The weather around that time was mild with no rain and light southeast winds not reaching over 8 mph, Will Redman, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said Monday.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Plane crash at Florida airport: 2 die when aircraft crashes on takeoff