A small plane crashed near Linden Airport in New Jersey Friday afternoon, killing a flight instructor and seriously injuring a flight student, according to authorities.
The instructor, identified as 54-year-old Craig MacCallum, died in the crash, according to Linden police.
Authorities said the flight student is a 19-year-old from Monmouth Junction, whose name has not been released. He is listed in serious condition.
Airport director Paul Dudley says the diamond DA-20 single-engine plane experienced difficulty climbing after takeoff Friday afternoon and radioed that it was in trouble before crashing.
David Benedictus saw the crash, and said the plane took a dive "after like a second or two."
"You seen it go down, literally nose first," he said.
It ended up on abandoned railroad tracks that run parallel to Routes 1 and 9 west of the airport shortly after 1 p.m.
The NTSB said they were focused on perishable information, including ground scars and flight control positions, according to investigator Luke Schiada.
Records show the plane is registered to a company in Denville.
The flight school declined to comment on the crash.