AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Authorities will begin a recovery operation at daybreak Wednesday after a deadly plane crash in Akron.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says there were no survivors of the crash Tuesday afternoon.
Danny Lewkowicz, the owner of ExecuFlight, the company that leased the aircraft, tells us there were nine people aboard the plane: a pilot, copilot and seven passengers.
The FAA says the 1979 Hawker H25 twin-engine business jet left Dayton and was on approach to Akron Fulton International Airport just before 3 p.m.
The OSHP says the plane clipped a telephone wire, hit an apartment building on Mogadore Road at Skelton Road, then crashed into an embankment behind that building. It was just two miles from the airport.
OSHP Lt. Bill Haymaker says authorities have been in touch with the owner of the building, who confirmed that no one was home at the time of the crash. He also says no one else on the ground was injured.
According to the FAA registry, the plane is registered to Rais Group International NC LLC out of Charlotte, North Carolina. It was hangared in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Here's its two-day flight schedule, according to FlightAware.com
- It began with Flight EFT 1521 began in Fort Lauderdale, leaving at 6:58 a.m. EST, Monday and landing at St. Paul (Minn.) Holman Field at 9:19 a.m.
- After an 1:40 layover, the second-leg was Flight EFT 1522, leaving at 10:59 a.m. CST from St. Paul and arriving at 11:47 a.m. CST at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill.
- After a 3:11 layover, the third-leg was flight EFT 1523, leaving at 2:58 p.m. CST from Moline and arriving at 3:36 p.m. at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
- After a 2:13 layover, the fourth-leg was flight EFT 1524, leaving at 5:49 p.m. CST from St. Louis and arriving at 7:49 p.m. EST at Cincinnati Municipal Airport, where the aircraft and crew stayed overnight.
- On Tuesday, the fifth-leg was flight EFT 1525, leaving at 11:12 a.m. from Cincinnati and arriving at 11:25 a.m. at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport. The airplane was originally scheduled to leave at 10:30 a.m.
- After a 2:48 layover, the sixth-leg was Flight 1526, leaving at 2:13 p.m. from Dayton with seven passengers and two pilots. It was scheduled to arrive at 2:49 p.m. at Akron Fulton International Airport. Authorities said the airplane crashed in a residential area shortly before 3 p.m. and about 2 miles from the airport.
WITNESSES DESCRIBE WHAT THEY SAW AND HEARD:
"All of a sudden this plane just dropped out of the sky, just veered sideways and just plowed right into the duplexes there," said Roberta Porter. "It was just instant boom and flames and smoke, it was horrific."
"I told my coworkers at the time when I heard the engine cut out and then I heard the explosion, a plane just crashed. I ran outside," Scott Ferrell said.
One witness, Mike Patton, says it seemed like the plane was trying to pull up before the crash.
"You just heard this real loud roar and he just continued to drift down. And then I saw a blue flash from the power lines, and then not a second or two later, a big plume of smoke. There were a couple of explosions, and some smaller explosions, then you could literally hear the trees crackling," Patton described.
Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler says a mass-fatality plan is in place to identify the victims and will begin Wednesday at daybreak.
The FAA has two investigators on the scene right now, with two more on the way.
The NTSB also has representatives headed to the scene.
Aviation expert Jamie Lebovitz, a senior partner at Nurenberg Paris, says there could be several preliminary reports released about the crash, but he speculates that it could take at least one year before the FAA releases its factual report.
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW:
Right now there is no word on whether any distress calls came from the aircraft before the crash.
Officials would not speculate on what may have caused the deadly crash. The weather in the Akron area Tuesday was overcast and rainy.
Several roads will be closed as investigators begin the task of sifting through the crash scene.
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Check back for updates on this developing story.