Transmissions From East Hartford Plane Crash Released | NBC Connecticut

Transmissions From East Hartford Plane Crash Released

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Thursday, March 2, 2017)

    Audio from inside a twin-engine plane before it crash in East Hartford last October has been released for the first time. 

    The instructor survived with bad burns, but the student pilot was killed back in the fall.

    East Plane Crash Tower Audio

    [HAR] East Plane Crash Tower Audio
    (Published Thursday, March 2, 2017)

    The Federal Aviation Administration provided the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters an audio clip of communication between the people inside the plane and air traffic control at Hartford-Brainard Airport.

    An aviation expert helped explain what is going on, saying nothing was out of the ordinary at all on the tape until the final leg.

    It’s also important to note there are four planes in all, included on the 4:40 minute clip.

    Seneca 15294 (student): “Ah, Brainard Tower. Seneca 15294-ah-ten miles inbound from ah Southeast-ah with papa.”

    Brainard Tower: “Seneca 15294, BrainardTower. Ident please.”

    “The student called to tell the control he was about 10 miles away from the airport and he describes his position and the controller asked him to push a button on the airplane that makes him flash on the radar screen,” Terry Keller, Jr., the chief instructor at Premier Flight Center told NBC Connecticut.

    The first transmission from the deadly flight appears, experts said, to come from the  student pilot, Feras Freitekh.

    Freitekh did not survive the plane crash.

    Over the next three minutes of the audio, the aircraft was radioing normally until final approach, with the instructor pilot communicating, they understood instructions for an amended landing.

    “All the other aircraft have essentially gotten out of the way," Keller, Jr. said.

    Brainard Tower Controller: “Seneca 15294, thank you. Report approaching the left downwind to land runway two-zero.”

    Seneca 15294 (instructor): “And we’ll report left downwind for two-zero, Seneca 15294.”

    Brainard Tower Controller: “And Seneca 294, if you’d like to amend that and bring it in on the base, that’s approved.

    Seneca 15294 (instructor): “That’s fine, we’ll take the left base for ah practice here, [unintelligible] ah Seneca 294.”

    On the final leg,  Keller Jr. said it appears that is when the plane disappeared from radar.

    Keller Jr. used to work for Arian Prevalla, until they went their separate ways about a decade earlier.

    Seneca 15294 (instructor) “And tower, Seneca 294 on final for ahum two-zero.

    Brainard Tower Controller: “Seneca 294, Roger. you’re cleared to land runway two-zero.”

    Seneca 15294 (instructor): “And cleared to land two-zero, seneca 294

    Brainard Tower Controller: "Seneca 294, Brainard?"

    Brainard Tower Controller to Bradley Approach/Radar Room by Intercom: "and Bradley, Brainard. The airport’s closed reference one Delta, Mike, we think we might’ve lost one."

    “And tower controller then must realizes he couldn't find the Seneca visually and made a call on radio quarried him are you there and he didn't get a response," Keller Jr. said.

    “Instructor sounded completely calm,” according to Keller Jr. about Prevella.

    Keller Jr. said events like this in the flying world are rare, noting how many planes fly without incident.

    He also said investigators will pare the audio recording from the radar system to help trace the path of the plane.

    The National Transportation Safety Administration did not determine probably cause and doesn’t plan to issue a report or open a public document.

    It’s unclear whether the FBI is still investigating.

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