FBI investigating if deadly Connecticut plane crash was intentional, reports say

A deadly small plane crash that killed a Jordanian national in Connecticut on Tuesday was reportedly not an accident, and the FBI has been called in to assist with the investigation.

The pilot of the twin-engine Piper PA-34, who has not been identified, told authorities the crash was intentional, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing federal sources.

“As far as the occupants of the plane, [the pilot] is expected to survive,” East Hartford Police Lt. Josh Litwin told CBS News. “He is cooperating with investigators. He’s actually speaking with detectives as part of this investigation as ongoing.”

The New York Times and The Hartford Courant identified the plane’s passenger — the man who died — as 28-year-old Feras Freitekh. Freitekh entered the U.S. in 2012 on an M1 visa for flight school and at some point he also aquired an F1 visa for language school, CBS reported. Freitekh was issued a pilot’s license in May 2015 and was certified to fly a single-engine plane.

The plane hit a utility pole and wires in East Hartford, Conn. around 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday, exploding into a fireball and knocking out power for hundreds of people. The FAA said the plane was on final approach to a local runway at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred close to jet engine maker Pratt Whitney’s corporate headquarters. Police Chief Scott Sansom called the company “critical infrastructure.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are also involved in the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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