OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a fatal plane crash in Oxford this weekend.
Elizabeth “Lake” Little died from injuries she suffered in the crash. The 18-year-old from Starkville, Mississippi was piloting a Cessna 172 that crash-landed onto the Ole Miss golf course Saturday.
Little was performing touch-and-go maneuvers at the nearby Oxford University Airport at the time of the crash. The single-propeller plane belonged to the Civil Air Patrol.
“We’re told the aircraft was climbing up and made a turn and was slow and descended and impacted the terrain,” said Ed Malinowski, an NTSB investigator.
Malinowski joined Ole Miss Police Chief Ray Hawkins at a news conference Monday. It was the first time authorities publicly discussed the crash.
“First let me start by sending condolences to the Little family,” said Hawkins.
NTSB said the plane traveled from Golden Triangle Airport in Columbus. The flight was a student flight.
Malinowski said a four-person team was on site Monday to remove the wreckage. The NTSB has requested all communication between air traffic control and Little as well as Little’s flight training and the airplane’s maintenance history.
Little’s brothers spoke with WMC’s Chris Luther by phone Friday, saying she was very involved in the community and was named Miss Hospitality in Starkville.
Little’s family says she recently joined the Air National Guard. They say she loved flying and had dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot.
“That was one of the last flights she had to do before she got her official private pilot’s license,” said Patton Little. “All she needed was a little more time to get to where she wanted to go in life, and it just didn’t work out.”
A preliminary report should be released in about a week. The final report could take from six months to a year to complete.