PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — National Transportation Safety Board officials arrived in Bay County Tuesday afternoon to investigate Monday’s fatal plane crash.
The 1979 Piper single-engine plane crashed around 4:00 p.m., right after take-off. There was reportedly a fire on board.
The plane, carrying three Orlando residents, went down near Highway 388, just south of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
“The sheriff put up the air unit, one of our helicopters, to assist in that search,” Ruth Corley, Bay County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer said. “And we were able to locate it just a little south of the runway at the airport is where the plane went down.”
54-year-old Ernesto Rosias and 44-year-old Corey Lamb were pronounced dead at the scene.
“One however was still alive and so of course they were given medical treatment there and rushed to a local hospital,” Corley said.
44-year-old Sertone Starks is in critical condition.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website, the plane is registered to an Orlando flight school called Prestige Aviation Group.
Rosias is listed online as the chief operating officer of the company. Sheriff’s deputies believe he was the one flying the plane at the time of the crash.
The FAA and the NTSB investigation could take 18-24 months to determine the cause of the crash.