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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dallas plane crew spoke of engine trouble just before fatal crash – officials

The information came from a recovered cockpit recorder.

Plane crash investigater Bruce Landsberg (Shaban Athuman/AP)
Plane crash investigater Bruce Landsberg (Shaban Athuman/AP)

By Jake Bleiberg and David Koenig, Associated Press

Seconds before a small plane crashed at a suburban Dallas airport, killing all 10 people on board, the crew commented on a problem with the left engine, federal officials said.

The Beechcraft BE-350 King Air struggled to gain altitude before veering to the left and crashing into a hangar on Sunday morning at the Addison Municipal Airport, killing a family of four, two couples and two crew members, witnesses and authorities said.

A cockpit voice recorder captured the pilots’ apparent confusion as the plane headed down the runway, Bruce Landsberg, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said on Tuesday at a news conference.

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National Transportation Safety Board officials are leading the investigation (Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Four seconds later, the pilots indicated there was a problem with the left engine, Mr Landsberg said.

After another five seconds, three alarms sounded, warning pilots that the plane was banked too sharply to one side.

The recording ended moments later, about a minute after the crew members were cleared for take-off on their route to St Petersburg, Florida, Mr Landsberg added.

The private plane was not required to have a flight data recorder, which tracks the performance of virtually every system on board, so investigators will rely on physical evidence at the crash site, video, radar information and witness accounts to determine the cause of the crash.

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A hanger was damaged in the crash (Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Officials had indicated that the plane was almost completely destroyed in the fire, but they said on Tuesday that they will be able to analyse significant parts.

The identities of all of those killed, including a family with two teenage daughters, have been released.

A plane and helicopter in the hangar were damaged, but there were no people in the building.

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