Crash Occurred Outside Defense Contractor Building
At around 3:40 p.m. local time, the twin engine Piper PA-34 Seneca plane struck a utility pole, caught on fire, and crashed to the ground on Main Street in downtown Hartford, Connecticut.
The two occupants of the plane included a flight instructor and a student out of Hartford-Brainard Airport. The student, identified as Feras M. Freitekh, died in the plane crash. According to the Hartford Courant, Freitekh, 28, had a license to fly a plane.
The pilot was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries, but he was able to talk with emergency crews. The Hartford Courant reports that the pilot told officials that the plane crash was not an accident.
Local police contacted federal investigators due to the proximity of the crash to the defense contracting firm Pratt & Whitney. Witnesses told the Hartford Courant that they saw the plane flying too low before colliding with the utility pole and power lines.
The plane nearly hit a minivan in the street as it crashed to the ground. Two people inside the minivan received treatment for minor injuries at local hospital, reports the Hartford Courant.
A slew of federal and local investigators were on the scene, including the FBI, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Fire and Explosion Investigations Unit. Police said the investigation will be lengthy, possibly lasting several days.
Airplane Crash Statistics
According to an article in LiveScience, there are not as many wrongful deaths of people involved in small plane accidents as one would think:
Since the 1970s, there have been a 75 percent drop in the number of wrongful deaths in small plane accidents in the United States.
The current fatality rate hovers just over 1 death for every 100,000 hours of flight time.
In 2013, there were a total of 1,297 general aviation accidents that resulted in 387 fatalities.