WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – New information has been revealed about Saturday’s deadly plane crash in the ocean near Westhampton Beach.
Family members say a Georgia teacher was one of the three people who died who died in the wreck.
The owner of the plane, a Connecticut man, also lost his life and his former wife spoke to CBS2.
“He is someone that would not put his life in danger. He would put everyone on safe ground. It’s something you can’t play with,” Sarah Persaud told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Raj Persaud had aviation records dating back almost 20 years; speaking to the pilot’s longtime passion for flying.
Sarah Persaud says the news came as a shock. Her ex-husband killed when his plane went down Saturday morning, just three miles from the Long Island coast. It’s not clear if he was piloting the aircraft at the time of the crash.
It took off from Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut, made a brief stop at Danbury, and was headed for Charleston, South Carolina
One witness says the plane came down in pieces.
“I saw three pieces and they were like the side pieces or maybe the piece of a wing or maybe a piece of the tail section,” Tim Carbone told CBS2. “They were just big pieces of sheet metal and then they hit the water, big splash, and then it was like whoa.”
Two other bodies were recovered. The family of Jennifer Landrum from Georgia says she was one of the victims.
Persaud owned a flight school at Oxford Airport where a bulletin board shows him with many people he’d taught to fly.
According to an FAA database, about a dozen aircraft are registered to Persaud, including several planes that have been in the news in recent years.
One crashed near Albany in 2016, injuring the pilot who’d rented it. Another renter crashed in Vermont in May and died.
Persaud made headlines in his native Guyana for allegedly sneaking planes out of the country two years ago.
Saturday, Persaud‘s plane crashed in about 20 feet of water. The FAA and NTSB hope the wreckage yields some clues as to the cause of the accident.