ADDISON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Federal investigators recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the plane crash at the Addison Municipal Airport on Sunday and have learned more about the seconds before the accident.
At a late morning press conference National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said the cockpit device recorded “two hours of high quality audio — including the accident flight.”
The only details Landsberg would give about the moments before the crash were that there was, “Crew comment consistent with confusion occurred about 12 seconds before the end of the recording. Crew comment regarding a problem with the left engine occurred about eight seconds before the end of the recording. Three automated bank angle oral alerts began about three seconds before the end of the recording.”
The NTSB did confirm that both engines and propeller assemblies from the accident have been recovered and moved. During the press conference photos were also shown of official sin Washington, D.C. analyzing the cockpit voice recorder.
Landsberg said that while there was no digital flight data recorder on the plane the chips inside the recorder are in “pretty good condition” and they hope to recover more information there and from other components on the plane.
Two crew members and eight passengers died when the Beechcraft King Air crashed into an airport hanger Sunday morning.
CBS 11 News has learned the identities of 9 of the 10 victims, including a family of four.
Confirmed dead are Brian Ellard, 52, an artist and co-owner of the restaurant Mille Lire in Oaklawn; his wife, Ornella, an interior designer; her 15-year-old daughter, Alice Maritato, a sophomore at John Paul II High School in Plano; and her 13-year-old son, Dylan Maritato, an 8th grader at All Saints Catholic School.
Also aboard the plane were Stephen and Gina Thelen of Plano and co-pilot, Matt “MJ” Palmer, a graduate of Boswell High School in Fort Worth, who was married just last year.
The presiding director of Tennis Competitors of Dallas said in an email Monday that a league director, Mary Titus, and her husband, John, were also among those killed in the accident.
The plane was scheduled to fly to St. Petersburg, Florida. Witnesses and local authorities said the aircraft struggled to gain altitude then veered into the hangar not far from a busy commercial strip and densely populated residential neighborhoods.
The fire after the crash was so intense that investigators only know that the landing wheels were still in their down position when the plane struck the hangar. The rest of the craft was destroyed.
Todd DeSimone, the general manager of Chicago-based jet charter company Planemasters, said Monday that he sold the plane to an Addison-based company called EE Operations.
No one has responded to a message left at a phone number associated with EE Operations. The company’s agent in Delaware, where EE Operations is registered, said it would forward a request for comment.
Federal Aviation Administration records list an Addison business address for the company. A receptionist at the building said through an intercom that she could not comment on the crash and declined to let a reporter inside Monday afternoon.
The twin-engine plane’s tail number, N511EF, was registered in April, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said Monday. The FAA registry confirmed that the plane was registered to EE Operations.
The pilots used the plane’s previous tail number in radio communications Sunday and for the flight plan, said Lunsford, who added that questions about why they were using the old number would be addressed in the investigation.
Edward Martelle, a spokesman for the town of Addison, said the plane was taking off at the south end of the airport and had just lifted off the runway when it veered left, dropped its left wing and went into the hangar.
Witness David Snell, who was getting ready to fly from Addison with a friend Sunday morning, told CBS 11 that the plane didn’t sound right on takeoff.
“I saw it when they were mid-air, a few hundred feet above the ground, but we knew something was wrong because it didn’t sound right. It didn’t sound like a King Air,” Snell said.
Air-traffic control tower audio from around the time of the crash does not capture any pilot indicating an emergency or trouble with a plane. But during the Tuesday press conference Landsberg said the NTSB had obtained four videos of the crash — including two taken from the end of the runway and one from a parked fire truck looking west toward the hanger.
Officials said they are beginning a review of flight crew records, certificates, log books and the recent flight experience of the pilots and will fly a drone on an approximate path of the accident aircraft based on air traffic control data.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)