LANTANA, Fla. — Two men were killed Sunday night when a small plane crashed in a field at the Palm Beach County Park Airport near Lantana, authorities said.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said emergency crews were called to the airport at about 9:30 p.m. for a reported aircraft crash and found a small plane on fire.
An agency spokesperson said crews quickly got the flames under control. However, the two men were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names have not been released.
WPTV reporter Derek Lowe said the crash happened in a field about 1,000 feet from a runway.
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board were at the airport Monday morning to investigate the cause of the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration was also investigating.
The NTSB said the single-engine aircraft involved was a Diamond DA40.
NTSB is investigating yesterday's crash of a Diamond DA40 airplane near the Palm Beach County Airport in Florida.— NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) March 6, 2023
According to FlightAware, based on the plane's tail number, flight records show the aircraft was coming from Williston, Florida, after taking off at 7:23 p.m. Sunday.
FlightAware showed the plane started the day at 11 a.m. Sunday in Henderson City, Kentucky, where it's registered to Diamond Aircraft Sales LLC.
The plane stopped in Harris County, Georgia, before leaving for Williston. According to FlightAware, the aircraft was scheduled to land at Palm Beach County Park Airport at 9:24 p.m. Sunday.
WPTV spoke with a man who said he was a friend of the two people who died in the plane crash.
"They were bringing a plane down from Kentucky I believe," he said.
The man said one of them was his flight instructor, and the other was a friend he met while learning to fly.
"From what I heard they tried to land and had to do a go around and ended up here tragically," he said. "When it's someone you're in contact with and has taught you the things that you know to be safe, it's very scary."
#BREAKING overnight — Two people pronounced dead after a small plane crash near the #PalmBeachCounty Park #Lantana Airport. The cause is still under investigation. Firefighters were called here just before 9:30 Sunday night. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/7jb7ok8mHH— Derek Lowe (@DerekLoweNews) March 6, 2023
The plane crashed across the street from several apartment complexes.
Eric Hollman said planes fly over all the time, but you rarely hear of them crashing.
"We hear these planes take off every day. Helicopters, planes, it's sort of part of the background noise," Hollman said. "You don't ever think of one of them going down or anyone getting a call that one of their family members isn't going to come home that day."
According to the Palm Beach County Park Airport's website, there are six runways on the property, which is located just west of Lantana and six miles south of Palm Beach International Airport.
The airport services both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and there is no air traffic control tower, according to the airport's website.
There are also several flight schools, aircraft maintenance and a propeller shop.
The names of the victims have not been released.
The investigation into why the plane crashed has just begun. Finding out the reason for this deadly crash will take some time.