Plane crash

The investigation into a July fatal plane crash north of the Gainesville Municipal Airport continues, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

A preliminary investigation report released by the agency shows a Piper PA-34 airplane, owned and operated by US Aviation Group LLC, impacted terrain near the airport, 2300 Airport Drive, around 4:20 p.m. Sunday, July 28.

Emergency personnel were notified of the crash at about 4:22 p.m., according to reports by the Register.

Yu Qiu, a 22-year-old student pilot from China, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Francesca Norris, a 25-year-old flight instructor from North Richland Hills, was taken by CareFlite to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas in critical condition where she died later that evening.

It is unknown who was piloting at the time of the crash.

The NTSB report shows the plane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. It’s unknown if there was an aircraft explosion, according to the report released last month.

The report also states that there was no flight plan filed for the flight “that originated at Denton Enterprise Airport, Denton, Texas.”

The two left Denton Enterprise Airport, 5000 Airport Road, at 2:40 p.m. and were expected to arrive in Gainesville shortly after 4 p.m., according to FlightAware’s website.

Norris joined the team at Denton-based U.S. Aviation Academy in November 2018, Justin Sykes, USAA assistant chief financial officer, said in an emailed statement to the Register after the crash.

Qiu started training at USAA in January 2018 alongside his classmates in the China 100 class sponsored by China Southern Airlines, according to Sykes.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday, Aug. 30, that it takes anywhere from one to two years to determine a probable cause in fatal investigations.

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