Video shows passengers smiling and laughing before plane crash
Recently surfaced video clips show the victims of a deadly Arizona plane crash grinning and giggling in the moments before the aircraft plummeted toward the ground.
Six people died when the the Piper PA-24 Comanche crashed and then burst into flames on the TPC Scottsdale Champions Golf Course shortly after taking off from the Scottsdale Airport around 9 p.m. Monday.
Authorities have not yet identified the victims, but social media has been flooded with tributes for several of those lost in the fiery crash.
The pilot, identified by friends and family as 28-year-old James Pedroza from Las Vegas, loved to travel and had only just purchased the six-seater plane in February, according to KPHO-TV.
His best friend, Arman Izadi, said his pal loved to travel and enjoyed taking friends aboard the six-seat aircraft.
Video shared on social media sees a group of people board what appears to be Pedroza’s Las Vegas-bound plane.
In a separate clip, Mariah Coogan, an aspiring model with more than 20,000 Instagram followers flashes a grin from inside the aircraft before turning her camera phone toward Anand “Happy” Patel, who was sitting next to her at the time of take-off.
His twin brother, Akash Patel, told the news station their parents are struggling to cope with his brother’s tragic death.
“We were shocked, and they are still shocked, and they’re hoping that there’s a miracle that he comes back,” he explained.
Izadi was similarly struggling with the loss of his friend, adding that Pedroza messaged him to say he there was something he hoped they could talk about.
“There’s nothing else I’d rather do than hang out with my buddy, you know?” he said. “Nothing else is important, you know?”
The cause of the crash is still under investigation — Pedroza’s final call to air traffic control did not suggest he was facing any problems during the flight.
“Are you experiencing difficulty?” the controller asked.
“Uh, we’re good, just a training lesson,” the pilot replied.
The plane crashed right after the call.
National Transportation and Safety Board Investigators are now working to “gather as much evidence as we can and try not to jump to conclusions” about the possible cause, CBS reproted.
A preliminary report on the circumstances of the crash is slated to be released within the next two weeks, according to an NTSB spokesperson.