NEWARK, N.J. — The pilot of a small plane that crashed in New Jersey and killed all five people aboard appeared to be in the middle of declaring an emergency when his transmission went dead.
Pilot Jeffrey Buckalew can be heard on an audio recording of his exchange with controllers. Speaking quickly but not sounding panicked, he says, "N-7-3-1 Charlie Alpha declaring an ..." before the transmission ends. He appears to be starting to form the word "emergency."
Buckalew, his wife, their two young children and a business colleague died in the crash on Interstate 287 in Morris Township on Tuesday, shortly after taking off from Teterboro Airport. They were bound for Georgia.
Buckalew confirmed the plane was accumulating ice as he ascended.
A preliminary federal report on the crash is due next week.