Authorities reported a tragic accident last Thursday afternoon when a single-engine Cessna 172 crashed soon after taking off from the Newport News-Williamsburg Airport. CBS reported the flight instructor, Viktoria Theresie Izabelle Ljungman, 23, of Williamsburg, Virginia, died at the scene.
Ljungman earned her commercial pilot license in April of this year. She worked as a flight instructor with the Rick Aviation Flight School, which has a partnership with the Hampton University Aviation School, according to the Newport News Daily Press.
Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode, 18, was piloting the craft at the time of the accident.
A state police representative reported:
“The investigation has revealed that during take-off, Oyebode attempted to pull the craft up at too steep of an angle, causing the engine to stall in the air, in which the aircraft dove into, and crashed into the embankment/ditch,” according to WTVR-TV.
Oyebode and another 18-year-old male student suffered serious injuries and were transported to a hospital.
WAVY-TV, Portsmouth, reported that Ljungman was conducting flying lessons with two 18-year-old students from Hampton University’s Aviation School at the time of the accident.
Ljungman lived in Williamsburg after graduating from Hampton where she attended on a tennis scholarship.
Friends of Ljungman remembered her kindness and positive outlook.
Myana Mabry, a former roommate, wrote:
“We were two roommates with two completely different cultures- but we complimented each other so well. We were each others’ teachers- she taught me so much about her Swedish heritage and even invited me to visit Sweden [one] day! I taught her about my African American heritage which led to many conversations between us because Viktoria was just so curious and just overall respectful.”
Mabry added, “She was truly someone you only meet once. And I will love her until the day after forever.”
Charlie Hudson, a former Hampton University tennis player, noted that Ljungman dreamed of being a commercial pilot.
Speaking to the Daily Press, Hudson said: “We were really each other’s family. I remember when I first met her, that’s all she ever wanted to do. She wanted to be a commercial pilot.”
Hudson added: “I don’t remember her ever not smiling. She was just contagious in her energy, just lovely to be around. She was just … such a pure soul that she seemed so innocent.”
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