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December 21, 2011

Small plane crashes on US highway, 5 dead

December 21, 2011

A small plane has crashed on a major New York-area highway, killing all five people on board and scattering wreckage across the road.

The plane spiralled out of control, breaking up and hitting a wooded median strip and scattering wreckage across the road, but no one on the ground was injured.

Federal investigators said the pilot had discussed icing with controllers just before the plane went down but were unsure what role, if any, icing played in the crash.

The New York investment banking firm Greenhill & Co said two of its managing directors, Jeffrey Buckalew, 45, and Rakesh Chawla, 36, as well as Buckalew's wife and two children, were on the plane that crashed on Interstate 287, a heavily used route that wraps around the northern and western edges of the New York City area.

Buckalew was the registered owner of the single-engine plane and had a pilot's licence.
The crash left charred wreckage across the median strip and the highway, with a section found lodged in a tree of a home about a 400 metres away, near a highway entrance ramp.

A huge ball of charred metal sat in the middle of the northbound lanes. Both sides of the highway were shut down, only partly reopening by late afternoon.

The wreckage of the cockpit of a small private plane that crashed is lifted onto a flatbed truck along the side of the highway in Morristown, New Jersey, December 20, 2011. REUTERS

The high-performance, Socata TBM-700 turboprop had departed from nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and crashed about 14 minutes into its flight. It was headed for DeKalb Peachtree Airport near Atlanta.

The pilot had a seven-second call with a controller about icing shortly before the crash, said Robert Gretz, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, in a late-day news conference.

Wreckage lies caught among trees after a small plane carrying five passengers and a dog crashed along Interstate Route 287 in Morristown, New Jersey, December 20, 2011. REUTERS

All passengers were killed, including two managing directors with the investment bank Greenhill & Co Inc. REUTERS

Gretz said he did not know if the pilot was reporting icing had occurred or was questioning the location of possible icing conditions. He said he was unaware of any icing on the ground that would have required de-icing.

Gretz said witnesses interviewed by investigators described the plane's descent as an uncontrolled spin.
Greenhill & Co said Buckalew's wife, Corinne, and the couple's two children, Jackson and Meriwether, were travelling with him.

Authorities said a dog aboard the plane was also killed.

In these file photographs, Jeff Buckalew (L) head of North American Corporate Advisory for Greenhill & Co and employee Rakesh Chawla (R). Buckalew, his wife, two children, and Chawla were killed when their small airplane crashed December 20, 2011 onto Interstate 287 near Morristown, New Jersey, according to police. REUTERS

[Source : post : yahoo.com & video : youtube.com]

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