Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 Crashes into House in Washington, D.C. Suburb
On December 8th, a private jet crashed into a house in a suburb of Washington, D.C., setting it and two other homes on fire. Three people in the house and three people on board were killed.
Marie Gemmell, a native of Brick Township, New Jersey, died on the second floor of her home, cradling her sons, 7-week-old Devin and 3-year-old Cole. The three men aboard the plane were identified as Michael Rosenberg, CEO of a North Carolina-based biopharma corporation; David Hartman, a vice president at a pharmacology consulting firm; and Chikioke Ogbuka, a project manager at Health Decisions.
The twin-engine emb was on approach to Montgomery County Airport and crashed about a mile from the airport, which would be consistent with the plane being on a final approach to landing.
Michael Rosenberg was identified as the plane’s pilot. Mr. Rosenberg, who had logged 4,500 flying hours, was involved in a prior accident in March 2010 when a small plane he piloted overran the runway during a landing at the same airport. The plane skidded 100 feet off the runway and came to rest in trees, nose down in the mud. There was one minor injury, according to the NTSB report.
Witnesses told local media that the plane seemed to be struggling to maintain altitude before it crashed.
The NTSB is conducting an investigation and will look at the weather, wreckage, air traffic control, the plane’s equipment and more to gather factual information. The plane’s black box has been recovered and indicates that the plane was preparing to land with the landing gear and flaps down. Twenty seconds before the end of the recording, an automated “stall” warning alarm sounded. The “stall” warning is designed to warn the pilot that the plane is dangerously slow and at imminent risk of a loss of control and crashing. Investigators haven’t yet pinpointed what happened to cause the aircraft to become too slow or what the pilot did when the stall warning first sounded. What caused the plane to get too slow and whether the pilot initiated the proper stall recovery procedures will surely be a primary focus of the investigation. Additional areas of investigation should be the aircraft’s performance and design, including that of its component systems. The Embraer is designed and manufactured in Brazil.
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Photo Credit: Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100, Tomás Del Coro