Air traffic control tapes released in SB plane crash

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It was one month ago today that a small jet crashed into three South Bend homes.

The accident killed two aircraft crew members and left three others injured.

Today, News Center 16 obtained an audio recording of the conversations that took place between the airport tower and the plane’s crew in the moments leading up to the crash.

The recording mainly features the cool, calm, and collected voice of the air traffic controller. “I cannot hear any of your transmissions,” the controller says to the pilot as the plane circled the airport.

The last time the pilot can be heard talking to the tower over his plane’s radio is when the aircraft was about ten miles away from the airport. At that time, the pilot was reporting a wide variety of very serious problems.

PILOT: “We lost all power and we have no hydraulics.
TOWER: We’ll have equipment standing by. Is your craft controllable?
PILOT: “Barely controllable.”

Soon, the pilot reports that he has no navigation and asks the controller for a vector.

The tower replies, “maintain your present,heading south of your directed, right at South Bend airport, 12:00 o'clock and niner miles.”

The plane eventually did manage to reach the airport where its troubles continued.

“Six Delta Kilo, go around, you have no gear (landing), go around if you can hear me, go around,” came the word from the tower. “Anything you want to do right now is fine, I do not see your altitude, just a heads up. Vehicles are standing by at South Bend.

The plane made one final attempt to land, bouncing several times on runway 9, before it careened into several nearby homes.

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