St. Petersburg, Florida -- Emergency crews rushed to St. Pete's Albert Whitted Airport about 2 o'clock on Wednesday after a small plane crashed upon take off.
Witnesses say the single-engine plane sounded like it was in trouble. It stalled and then plowed nose first into the runway.
Photo Gallery: Small plane crash at Albert Whitted Airport
More Pictures: Plane crash cleanup
"The plane was about 100 feet into the air, they [the witnesses] heard some engine sputtering and it just nose-dived right on the engine-impacted right into the runway," said Lt. Joel Granata, of St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.
The pilot and owner of the plane, 79-year-old James Finnegan, of St. Petersburg, died in the crash. According to police, Finnegan had some flight experience in his past and was taking a refresher course from instructor 37-year-old James Murphy.
Although injured himself, Murphy was able to drag Finnegan from the wreckage and he was already performing CPR on the pilot when rescue crews arrived. Murphy was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in stable condition.
Several pilots at the airport declined to talk on camera. They were clearly upset by the crash.
And people at a nearby restaurant on the USF campus said they could hear that something went terribly wrong.
"We heard a loud crash," said Will Roberts. "It was like a loud boom and then all of a sudden we heard all the sirens."
FAA investigators are on scene and on Thursday morning, they plan to continue their examination of the wreckage on the runway.
You May Also Like...
Photos: Florida politican's underwear pics circulate online
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Puppeteer Arrest: Man charged with child porn, accused of planning to kidnap and eat children
Deadly Game: Teen dies playing Russian roulette
PHOTOS: George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin crime scene pics
South Beach Cannibal: Homeless man's face chewed off
Bronies: Male fans attend My Little Pony convention
Cheerleader sex: Former Ben-Gal pleads not guilty to sex with teen
Bad girls: Teen girls arrested in slaying death of cabbie
Photos: Ex-Charlie Sheen Goddess Bree Olson
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Sting: 31 pimps and prostitutes arrested (with pics)
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Strange: Most notorious or unusual mug shots we've seen
Teachers:Teacher arrest mugshots
Jaw droppers:Open mouth mug shots
Smilers: Happy mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries