Posted by on October 12, 2016 4:00 am
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Categories: US News

Initial findings showed the small plane crash that killed a Jordanian national and injured another man in Connecticut was “an intentional act,” The National Transportation Safety Board announced in a statement Wednesday, adding that the FBI would the lead in the investigation with the NTSB assisting.

The unnamed man who survived the crash Tuesday afternoon also told investigators the wreck was not an accident, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc told The Associated Press. That man was in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital, but was able to speak to detectives, officials said.  

The Hartford Courant reported a student pilot and his instructor were arguing before the crash, with the student saying he no longer wanted to fly the plane. An initial search of the apartment where the student was staying found no signs of terrorism, the newspaper added.

The crash of the twin-engine Piper PA-34 Seneca killed only the passenger. The New York Times and the Courant identified that man as 28-year-old Feras Freitekh.

Freitekh entered the U.S. in 2012 on an M1 visa for flight school and at some point he also aquired an F1 visa for language school, CBS News reported. Freitekh was issued a pilot’s license in May 2015 and was certified to fly a single-engine plane.

The crash occurred close to jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney’s corporate headquarters. Police Chief Scott Sansom called the company “critical infrastructure.”

The aircraft had two sets of controls, police said.

The plane hit a utility pole and wires in East Hartford, Conn., around 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday, exploding into a fireball and knocking out power for hundreds of people. The FAA said the plane was on final approach to Brainard Airport in Hartford at the time of the crash.

“As far as the occupants of the plane, [the pilot] is expected to survive,” East Hartford Police Lt. Josh Litwin told CBS News. “He is cooperating with investigators. He’s actually speaking with detectives as part of this investigation as ongoing.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are also involved in the investigation.

“Pratt & Whitney is assisting authorities as needed. We are unable to comment further since this is an active investigation,” the company announced in a statement Tuesday.

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