Two students from the Farmingdale State College aviation program — one from Long Beach — were killed in a plane crash Wednesday night in Pennsylvania.
The dead were identified Thursday as Patrick Sheridan, 34, of Long Beach, the pilot, and Casey Falconer, 19, of Garden City Park.
A third student, Evan Kisseloff, 21, of Oceanside, survived.
Pennsylvania State Police say the crash occurred near Spring Hill Airport in Wayne County at about 10:35 p.m. Wednesday.
Steve Price, coordinator of the Wayne County Emergency Management Agency, told The Citizen's Voice, that the plane, a Mooney M20J single-engine model, appeared to have run into trees during take off.
A preliminary report by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the plane crashed on take off.
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"It crashed after departure . . . the reports are that the aircraft caught fire," FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said. She said the plane took off from Spring Hill Airport in Sterling, Pa., about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and was bound for Farmingdale.
College spokesman Patrick Calabria said the students were on a private trip and not flying a college plane. “Our campus is in shock and we are all trying to come to grips with this tragedy. Our hearts are with the family and friends of the two students who died. President Keen has released a message to the entire campus community and is in the process of reaching out to the families of the victims to offer whatever comfort and support is needed, as well as to the student who survived.
"Students, faculty and staff are being encouraged to use the campus personal counseling service which is standing by if they need,” Calabria said.
Wayne County coroner Edward Howell said Thursday autopsies would be conducted Friday.