A single engine Socata TBM-700 crashed on Interstate 287 in northern New Jersey on Tuesday morning, killing all five people aboard the aircraft. The fatal plane crash occurred at around 10:05 a.m. in Harding Township, roughly 14 minutes after takeoff. Authorities say the plane was on its way to Atlanta after taking off from Teterboro Airport. The plane narrowly missed hitting a southbound pickup. No one on the ground was hurt.
According to a safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the pilot of the aircraft spoke to air traffic controllers shortly after takeoff about icing conditions. The plane had de-icing equipment, but it is not known yet whether it was activated.
Air traffic controllers had previously received word that icy conditions existed at 14,000 feet and were heard warning a different pilot of severe icing. When temperatures are low and there is visible moisture from clouds or rain, ice can build up on the wings of an aircraft, occasionally causing the plane to lose lift and plummet to the ground.
While authorities are focusing on ice buildup as the likely cause of the crash, they will examine the plane’s maintenance records and other information about the plane and the pilot. It will be months before a final cause will be determined.
Killed in the crash were Jeffrey F. Buckalew, a managing director at the New York investment bank Greenhill & Company, and his wife and two children. Also killed in the crash was Rakesh Chawla, also a managing director at Greenhill & Company.