Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Aircraft Crash Kills Pilot, Two Passengers, and Family of Three on the Ground

small plane

On Monday, December 8th, a small corporate jet (an Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100) crashed into a home in Gaithersburg, Maryland, killing the pilot and the two passengers on-board. A mother and her two young sons who were in the home were also killed in the impact and fire which ensured.

According to a preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the flight had originated from Chapel Hill and was about three-quarters of a mile from the runway at its destination airpark in Montgomery County when it impacted terrain and houses in a nearby neighborhood.

Although birds had been spotted in the area, they are not considered to be responsible for the crash. The NTSB also believes that engine failure was not the cause, although no reasons have as yet been ruled out at this early stage. Witnesses say the plane was flying in a very erratic pattern just prior to going down.

Late Stall Warning Present Before Crash

According to flight data recorders recovered at the scene, twenty seconds before the crash, a stall warning indicated the plane was flying too slowly, but apparently there was either not time or the ability to correct the condition and prevent the crash. Stalling is one of the most frequent causes of plane crashes, and the FAA has for some time been lobbied to implement regulations regarding stall warning systems for aircraft. If pilots are warned earlier about a stall, then in many more instances they may have sufficient time to make corrections and avoid a tragic plane crash like this one.

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