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Victims in Mesa plane crash identified

Posted at 3:07 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 21:57:01-04

Mesa police have identified the two people who died in Tuesday's plane crash near Falcon Field as the pilot and an 18-year-old foreign exchange student. 

Steve Berry, spokesman for Mesa police, identified the victims as Jesse R. Goodwin, 43, the pilot, of Gilbert, and Ataberk Besler, from Cannakkale, Turkey, who is in the U.S. as part of a foreign exchange program.

Berry said Besler's family in Turkey have been notified.

Goodwin was a commercial pilot for American Airlines. The airline said in a statement it was "saddened" by the loss and "extend our condolences to his loved ones."

On Tuesday afternoon, a 1942 North American Aviation AT-6 aircraft took-off from Falcon Field Airport and proceeded to make a right turn before it crash-landed on a roadway near the airport.

Officials said the plane the caught fire. 

The National Transportation and Safety Board has taken over the investigation. Berry said he had not been notified yet of what caused the crash.