TETERBORO, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A jet appeared late in turning and banked hard before crashing near Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, federal investigators said.
The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday issued a preliminary report into the May 15 crash of the Learjet 35, in Carlstadt which killed the pilot and co-pilot.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Learjet 35A from Philadelphia crashed while attempting to land on Runway 1 at Teterboro Airport.
Radar data indicated the flight did not start its right circling turn until it was less than a mile from the approach end of the runway, the NTSB said. Controllers said aircraft typically start the turn around four miles away.
A controller reported observing the wings almost perpendicular to the ground before leveling off and the left wing dropped, showing the entire top of the plane before the plane crashed among small warehouses and industrial buildings in Carlstadt, about a quarter mile from the airport.
One man driving nearby saw the plane moments before the crash.
“It was completely on its side,” witness Andrew Barcia said. “And my girlfriend said it flipped over completely and then we saw all the smoke.”
Seconds before the crash, one of the two crew members on board communicated with air traffic control about turning the aircraft.
“Are you going to start that turn?” an air traffic controller says, according to a recording of the audio on Broadcastify.com.
“Yes sir, we’re doing that right now, 452 delta alpha,” the crew member responds.
“Tower, uh — appears a jet just crashed.”
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows the moment of impact and then a huge fireball. A man can be seen running across a parking lot toward the crash site as thick, black smoke spews into the air.
Three buildings and 16 vehicles were damaged in the impact or fire.
No one on the ground was injured.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)