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Phenom 100 Crash Is First Fatal For Light Jet


UPDATE: The NTSB and local authorities have confirmed that three people on the aircraft as well as three people in a house that burned down as a result of the crash were killed. NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt, during a press conference this afternoon, said the aircraft struck three houses, cutting a narrow gash through the roof and into what appeared to be a bedroom of the first house. The main part of the fuselage and tail section came to rest against a second house, and one wing appeared to have been “catapulted” into the third house which caught on fire and burned down. Three victims – a mother and two young children – were found in a second-floor room in the third house. Sumwalt says a flight data recorder was recovered and taken back to the NTSB facilities in Washington for download starting this evening. 

Original Story: At least three people on board an Embraer Phenom 100 light jet were killed this morning near an airport in the Washington, D.C area.

Credit: NBC4

The first fatal accident for the type occurred at the culmination of a straight-in appraoch to Runway 14 at the Montgomery County Airpark (KGAI), about 1 mi. short of the runway in a cul-de-sac of a residential area. Fire department officials say at least three people were on board and killed. Three houses were affected, but no word on whether anyone was  home or injured.

Aviation Week combined Google maps with information from LiveATC.net, which monitors the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) at the airport, to show the layout of the accident. Gaithersburg does not have a control tower. The safety record to date for the Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered twinjet is listed on Air Safety Network's website. 

The pilot did not make any distress calls before the accident. Airport officials had been warning other pilots in the traffic pattern of a large amount of bird activity in the vicinity of the runway end.

Here is the unicom audio feed at KGAI from LiveATC.net where you can here the Phenom pilot calling distance from the runway, and the reports of birds:

(For best results, right/control-click and download to your computer)

Phenom 100 crash GAI.mp3

Eyewitnesses described the aircraft as flying very low with motion that could indicate a stall-like condition.

N100EQ was built in 2009 and registered to Sage Aviation in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating, with the NTSB expected to hold its first press conference this afternoon.

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