Press conference details preliminary investigation into plane crash

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a press conference Monday afternoon to provide greater detail into the fatal twin-engine jet crash that damaged three homes in a South Bend neighborhood.

According to the NTSB, the investigation is ongoing and is in its preliminary stages.

The Associated Press reported that federal investigators discovered that a former University of Oklahoma quarterback and a Tulsa, Okla., businessman were the flight crew for the private jet.

Former football star Steve Davis and friend Wes Caves died Sunday when the plane crashed, two passengers and a resident of one of the homes were injured.

During Monday’s press conference NTSB investigator Todd Fox said that Davis and Caves were licensed pilots, it remains unclear which man was flying the plane.

At around 4:20 p.m. on Sunday local fire rescue were notified of an “aviation-related accident” in a residential subdivision. According to investigators the plane attempted to land twice before crashing.

Responders found the wreckage of a Hawker Beechcraft 390, a corporate twin-engine jet carrying four people—two passengers and two pilots. Fox said that the jet is a newer model and added that the NTSB is unaware of any prior safety issues with this particular plane.

"At this time I don't want to speculate if there were any issues with aircraft we need to do a thorough investigation to identify if there were any issues with the aircraft," said Fox.

Investigators have recovered the cockpit voice recorder and have sent it to Washington D.C. to be analyzed at a voice lab. The investigators will remain on the scene for three to four more days, but Fox says that because of their “phenomenal” success thus far, he expects the plane to be lifted and placed in a secure hanger at the airport by days end tomorrow.

The NTSB says its primary focus is to identify safety issues with the fleet of aircraft involved, and the investigation into the cause of the crash could take a year to be completed.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also spoke at Monday's press conference to comment on the status of the homeowners of the houses damaged in the crash.

"Most of the families are back on their homes and I've been working with council member Tim Scott and they are in remarkably good spirits and appreciation for emergency service personnel," Buttigieg added.


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