Jacksonville, Fl. - Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley says it’s expected that no one survived a plane crash that happened near Marineland.
“The plane is heavily damaged, it doesn't look like there are any survivors.” Sheriff Staley said.
The sheriff said it’s a “search and recovery” operation now and the NTSB will investigate the incident.
The FAA has confirmed that 2 people were on board the aircraft , but the Sheriff’s Office received information that another person was on board, and have not been able to confirm and won’t be able to until they get to the wreckage.
The plane was found on the shore of the Intracoastal waterway of the Mangrove area of the River-to-the-Sea state park.
The sheriff says that the plane that crashed is from The Sunrise Aviation Academy, and the school has said they are searching for a missing instructor and student. The victims have not yet been identified.
At this point, investigators say, the plane had a “hard impact” and went straight down after clipping a tree. The Sheriff says that it doesn't appear the plane nosedived.
“Obviously something occurred that caused it to lose altitude” says Sheriff Staley
The NTSB will be working to determine the final cause and details of the crash.
Multiple agencies assisted in the search for the wreckage, including the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
“Our hope was, of course, survivors,” Staley says.
The FAA says it lost radar contact with a Piper PA44 aircraft approximately 22 miles north of Ormond Beach at about 11 p.m. Thursday.
A witness reported seeing an aircraft go down in the area. The aircraft took off from Brunswick, GA and was heading to Ormond Beach.
This is a developing story, refresh throughout the day for updates.