Student Pilot Killed in East Hartford Crash Died of Smoke Inhalation, Thermal Injuries - NBC Connecticut

Student Pilot Killed in East Hartford Crash Died of Smoke Inhalation, Thermal Injuries

Student Pilot Killed in East Hartford Crash Died of Smoke Inhalation, Thermal Injuries
Kenatha Abernaty/NBC Connecticut
Feras M. Freitekh was killed in what law enforcement called an intentional plane crash in East Hartford on Tuesday.

The student pilot who died in a plane crash in East Hartford on Oct. 11 died of smoke inhalation and heat and fire injuries, according to the office of the chief medical examiner.

Federal investigators have called the crash an "intentional act."

A senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation previously told NBC News that the student pilot, Feras M. Freitekh, was arguing with his instructor and the crash appears to have been a case of suicide, not terrorism.

Officials indentified him through fingerprints and the manner of his death is pending further investigation of the circumstances, according to the office of the chief medical examiner.

Freitekh was killed and his instructor, Arian Prevalla -- the owner of American Flight Academy in Hartford -- was injured when the twin-engine Piper PA 34 they were in crashed on Main Street, near the Connecticut headquarters of military jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney, and burst into flames.

The National Transportation Safety Board previously said the crash that killed Freitekh and seriously injured Prevalla appeared to have been the result of an intentional act.

A senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told NBC News, Prevalla told investigators that Freitekh, a Jordanian national, was at the controls at the time of the crash. Some kind of argument or struggle for the controls ensued, the official said, and the plane crashed. The instructor did not know why it happened.

Police searched Freitek's Hartford-area home but did not find anything to indicate any terrorist interests or sympathies, a senior federal official told NBC News' Pete Williams.

He was also not on any terrorism watch list, the official added.

Prevalla has undergone surgery and he is recovering in the hospital.

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