A plane that disappeared shortly after take-off Thursday evening was found in a heavily wooded area of Westchester County, New York, though both occupants perished in the crash.
Benjamin Chafetz, 45, and Boruch Taub, 40, took off from John F. Kennedy International airport in a single-engine Beechcraft A36 and was bound for Ohio when Taub, the pilot, reported a loss of oil pressure over Long Island Sound, ABC 7 New York reported. Though only a mile or two from Westchester County Airport, the tower lost contact with the plane, prompting a search and rescue mission, the outlet stated.
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That undertaking proved difficult as thunderstorms and the heavily wooded terrain prevented officials from deploying drones to assist in the search, as reported by ABC 7. Eventually officials were able to pinpoint the wreckage location by using pings from the passengers’ cell phones. The wreckage and the bodies of the passengers were recovered just before 11 p.m. Thursday night, more than five hours after the crash, the outlet stated. (RELATED: Plane With Two People On It Crashes Into Oklahoma Field, Leaving Investigators With Few Answers)
As members of a Jewish community in Cleveland, the bodies of the victims were removed from the crash site and released to their respective families in order to be buried in Ohio by sundown on Friday in accordance with their religious traditions, the outlet reported.
The owner of the plane, who runs a company in Willoughby, Ohio, called Daviation, told CBS New York that Taub and Chafetz were experienced pilots and added that he is devastated by the news of their deaths.
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the crash, ABC 7 reported.