A young flight instructor’s passion for the skies tragically ended when a student’s mistake caused their aircraft to plummet to the ground, taking her life.
Viktoria Theresie Izabelle Ljungman, a 23-year-old Swedish flight instructor, lived for her passion—flying planes. The skies had always called to her, leading her to transform her career from a tennis scholarship at Virginia’s Hampton University into a life dedicated to teaching others to fly. Tragically, her love for the skies was cut short when a student’s error sent their aircraft plummeting to the ground, taking Viktoria’s life with it.
That fateful day, the sky seemed endless as Viktoria and her 18-year-old student, Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode, embarked on a routine flight lesson. But as the aircraft took off, Oyebode made a fatal mistake, pulling the nose up too high and causing the plane to stall. In an instant, the aircraft began its deadly descent, with Viktoria unable to regain control before the crash claimed her life.
The tragedy unfolded at the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, where Viktoria worked as an instructor. She had been teaching aviation to Oyebode and another 18-year-old student, both of whom attended Hampton University. The crash left both students with life-threatening injuries, rushing them to the hospital as they fought for their lives.
Viktoria’s spirit resonated with those who knew her, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts. Charlie Hudson, a friend from their tennis days, described her as “family” and shared how becoming a flight instructor was “all she ever wanted to do.” He fondly recalled her ever-present smile and contagious energy, making her a joy to be around.
Even her roommate, Myana Mabry, spoke of the bond they shared, transcending their cultural differences. They taught each other about their respective heritages, with Viktoria’s curiosity and respect fostering enriching conversations between them. Myana reminisced about the invitation to visit Sweden one day, a dream now left unfulfilled.
In the wake of the tragedy, Hampton University released a statement acknowledging the accident involving their students and confirming that the cause was under investigation. As the university community mourned the loss, they asked for privacy and respect for the students and their families during this difficult time.
Viktoria’s memory lives on through the photos she shared on Instagram, documenting her journey as a flight instructor. Though her life was cut short, her passion and spirit continue to inspire those who knew her, a testament to a life lived in pursuit of dreams that reached for the sky.