NEW YORK (VINnews) — Radio calls from the stricken Beechcraft A36 carrying Boruch Taub z’l and Benjamin Chafetz z’l show just how close the two were to landing their plane safely.Join our WhatsApp group
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Pilot Taub, who was flying the single-engine airplane, had reported engine trouble soon after taking off in bad weather from JFK airport on Thursday evening. CBS released recordings of the pilot’s conversations with traffic controllers prior to the crash.
Taub was calm while talking with Air Traffic Control.
Tower: “I am going to keep you climbing to eight in about 10 to 15 miles.”
Taub: “We’re not getting the performance we’re expecting, and I’m not sure why.”
Tower: “Westchester County Airport’s right off your right wing if you want to land and check it out. Are you declaring an emergency?”
Taub: “Not at this time.”
Tower: “When you can, make a right turn, heading 340 — looks like I see you doing it now.”
Taub: “I am declaring an emergency, our oil pressure is dropping.”
Tower: “Do you have engine power right now? Are you able to maintain altitude?”
Taub: “No, the engine is over running. Mayday, mayday, mayday, mayday.”
The mayday call sent first responders rushing to the woods near the airport. The search was hampered by nasty weather that made it impossible to fly drones and use other equipment.
“We had a multi-domain search-and-rescue effort that included water, land and aviation,” Westchester County Airport manager April Gasparri said.
The FBI used technology to search for the men’s smartphones.
“We were able to then ping, that gave us a general idea of where the plane was. Still not sure of whether or not it was in the water or on the land,” Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie said.
Just before 11 p.m., the wreckage was found with two bodies inside.