Federal authorities have launched an investigation to determine why a private jet tried to make an emergency landing on a Florida interstate, colliding with a vehicle and sparking a fiery crash that left two people dead.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Bombardier Challenger 600 jet had five people were aboard when the crash happened around 3:15 p.m. Friday near Naples, just north of where the interstate heads east toward Fort Lauderdale along what is known as Alligator Alley.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, with the NTSB leading the investigation. One NTSB investigator arrived at the crash site Friday afternoon, with several more expected to arrive on Saturday.
The plane had taken off from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at about 1 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Naples around the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesperson Robin King said. A pilot had contacted the tower requesting an emergency landing, saying they had lost both engines.
According to the FlightAware aircraft tracker, the plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The aircraft had been scheduled to fly back to Fort Lauderdale Friday afternoon.
Federal authorities said a preliminary report about the cause of the crash can be expected in 30 days.
Published with permission of the Associated Press.