'Disturbing' miscalculation led to Teterboro crash, investigators say

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(10/31/06) EDISON ? An investigator told the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) Tuesday a disturbing, amateur error by pilots led to a frightening corporate jet crash at Teterboro Airport last February.

During the accident, a small jet skidded off the runway at the airport. It then crashed through a fence, barreled across Route 46 and hit a car before smashing into a building. Although 14 people were injured, no one was killed in the incident.

Investigator Steve Demko told the NTSB in Washington D.C. that the flight crew failed to properly calculate the jet?s center of gravity prior to takeoff. According to Demko, the miscalculation is a ?disturbing? mistake indicative of amateur pilots. Demko says a pre-flight decision to top off the plane?s fuel tanks moved the aircraft?s center of gravity too far forward.

The meeting also touched on the possibility of Platinum Jet Management, which owned the jet, tried to cover up prior miscalculations. Investigators claim the company had altered earlier weight records. When asked by an NTSB official if Platinum Jet Management had cooked the books, Demko told them they had. Platinum Jet Management ceased operating one month after the accident.

Related information: NTSB Plane slams into building at Teterboro Airport; approximately 20 injured Hackensack University Hospital treats 18 after Teterboro plane crash Investigation underway into cause of Teterboro Airport plane crash Residents shaken after early morning crash at Teterboro Airport NTSB officials still investigating cause of Teterboro Airport plane crash Victim of Teterboro plane crash speaks after narrowly escaping death


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