- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - The crash of a plane near an airport that killed two people over the weekend occurred during a routine flight review to test a pilot’s flying proficiency.

Police in Chester County’s West Goshen Township identified the victims of Sunday’s crash as 67-year-old Richard Poch of West Chester and 64-year-old Joseph Deal of Drexel Hill. Poch was a certified flight instructor, and Deal was a certified pilot who was flying the aircraft, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“It was a flight review that pilots have to take every two years with an approved instructor to demonstrate competency in a number of skills,” said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Piper PA28 crashed shortly after taking off from Brandywine Airport, about 20 miles west of Philadelphia.

Authorities said it appeared the pilot lost control in the plane before it went down about 2 miles from the airport.

The NTSB will conduct an investigation with the Federal Aviation Administration and will determine the cause of the crash, Knudson said.

Deal’s family, in a statement Wednesday, described him as someone who “everyone loved.”

“Joe was a kind soul and a wonderful man,” the statement said. “His passion for adventure was only out-weighed by his love of family and friends and his dedication to helping others.”

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