- Seven in real estate company killed as jet hit apartment
- Cockpit recorder has been reviewed by NTSB investigators
The pilots on a chartered plane carrying seven employees of a Florida real estate company discussed the poor weather and how to land in low visibility prior to the twin-engine jet slamming into an apartment building in Akron, Ohio, on Tuesday.
The plane’s landing gear was extended when it crashed and burst into flames, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr said at a briefing Thursday in Akron. Akron Fulton International Airport was shrouded in mist and low clouds as the Hawker 125-700A approached, Dinh-Zarr said.
The dead included Jared Weiner and Ori Rom, principals in Pebb Enterprises, according to WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida. Employees Nick Weaver, Gary Shapiro, Thomas Virgin and Diane Smoot were also aboard, according to the station. One of the pilots was Oscar Andres Chavez, according to the Akron Beacon Journal’s website.
Pebb released a statement saying seven of its employees, including two principals, had died, but didn’t identify them.
The NTSB recovered a crash-proof cockpit sound recorder from the wreckage and listened to it Wednesday night, Dinh-Zarr said. "There was conversation about the weather, about landing," she said, declining to describe additional details.
Weather is a “key area” the NTSB is examining in the crash that killed all nine people aboard, Dinh-Zarr said Wednesday. NTSB has interviewed another pilot who arrived at the airport shortly before the crash, she said.
The airport has a radio guidance system known as a localizer to guide aircraft to the runway in poor visibility.