Investigators for the National TransporTation Safety Board say the deadly crash Tuesday of a small plane, barely 200 yards from the corporate headquarters of U.S. defense contractor Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, was “an intentional act.”
The crash occurred as the plane was on its final approach to Hartford’s Brainard Airport.
Aaccording to a statement released Wednesday, the FBI is set to lead in the investigation of the crash of the twin-engine Piper PA-34 Seneca, with assistance from the NTSB. The plane — which had two sets of controls — hit a utility pole, snapped electrical wires, crashed on the road and exploded into a fireball around 3:40 pm on Tuesday.
A survivor told investigators the crash was no accident, according to The Associated Press, which quoted East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc. The man, flight instructor Arian Prevalla, 43, is hospitalized at Bridgeport Medical Center and was upgraded Wednesday from critical to fair condition.
Lt. Josh Litwin of East Hartford Police told media the survivor is being treated for burns and is expected to survive. He added that it is not yet known whether the student pilot or instructor had control of the plane at the time of the crash.
Prevalla is a flight instructor at the Hartford Jet Center, according to records and law enforcement.
According to the report, the student pilot presumed killed in the crash was identified as 28-year-old Feras Majdii Mohammad Freitekh. The Jordanian student entered the United States in 2012 on an M1 visa for flight school, and subsequently acquired an F1 visa for language school as well, CBS News reported. He was licensed and certified to fly a single-engine plane in May 2015.Hana Levi Julian