Investigators suspect deadly maneuver in jet crash

Posted: Updated:

Federal investigators say the jet in a deadly crash this month near Teterboro Airport apparently turned too late upon its approach, banked hard and hit the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday issued a preliminary report into the May 15 crash of the Learjet 35, which killed two crew members.

The NTSB says radar data indicated the flight did not start its circling turn until it was less than a mile from the approach end of the runway. Controllers said aircraft typically start the turn about 4 miles away.

A controller reported observing the wings listing before leveling off and the left wing dropping, showing the entire top of the plane before the aircraft crashed among small warehouses and industrial buildings in Carlstadt.

New Jersey pilot Pete DeLisa has flown from Teterboro Airport many times. He says that the NTSB report point to what he suspected happened, right away.

“They had overshot the runway. They had to bank a little bit harder. They were still overshooting the runway…they banked the airplane over. One of the wings stalled and the airplane fell out of the sky,” he says.

Investigators say that surveillance video of the plane just before the crash seemed to show the plane was flying almost on its side, with its nose down at time.

The NTSB recovered the cockpit voice recorder which will be analyzed. But it could be up to a year before the investigation is finished and a cause is known.

The agency says that this was the flight crew’s third flight of the day, beginning with a flight out of Teterboro to Massachusetts earlier that morning.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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