DCA Plane crash kills flight instructor, student pilot


Well-known member
Mar 5, 2004
Total Time


A Volusia deputy directs a Florida Division of Forestry truck to the plane-crash site this morning. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL / February 18, 2009)

Today's updates:

11:14 a.m. Investigators have identified the victims as instructor Adi Atkinson, 23, and student Derek Fox, 30. Check back for updates.

Deputies in Volusia County this morning discovered a plane crash with the remains of a student pilot and instructor inside the wreckage.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has not released the identities of the crash victims.

Plane crash kills flight instructor, student pilot

Delta Air Lines spokesman Carlos Santos confirmed the single-engine Cirrus belonged to the Sanford-based Delta Connection Academy flight school, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

The Federal Aviation Administration's registry shows the craft was manufactured in 2007.

Delta Connection Academy spokeswoman Rachel Bragg said this is the first fatal training crash in the 20 years the flight school has been in Sanford. The flight school, which has about 300 students enrolled in its program, has had "incidents" over the years, such as crashes and emergency landings, Bragg said.

"We have been using it over the last two years," Bragg said of the plane. The craft that crashed was one of 34 planes owned by the school and there have been no incidents with that plane, she said.

The sheriff's office along with the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an investigation to confirm the cause of the deaths. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

A helicopter from the sheriff's office discovered the wreckage in the woods near State Road 415, between Deltona and New Smyrna Beach, sometime after 3:45 a.m. The plane's fuselage is mostly intact, but the nose sustained an unknown amount of damage, sheriff's reports show.

[B]Officials said the parachute, which slows down the plane's descent to protect the occupants, had been deployed.[/B]

Lt. Brodie Hughes of the sheriff's office said the Florida Division of Forestry will clear a path to help responders reach the wooded crash site.

Hughes said the plane had departed from the Orlando Sanford International Airport Tuesday afternoon. Officials mounted a search for the plane after the craft was reported overdue at 2 p.m.

[B]A radar analysis indicated that the plane spiraled toward the ground, investigators said[/B].
Check back for updates.

Sentinel staff writer Gary Taylor contributed to this article.


Client 9
Nov 14, 2004
Total Time
Very sad. RIP to the student and instructor. If it's true that the parachute was deployed, I believe that this would be the first Cirrus fatality involving chute deployment.