Officials stated Monday that a business jet may have had stability issues before hitting turbulence or other disturbed air that led to the death of a passenger who held key positions in two presidential administrations.
The National Transportation Safety Board stated that it is investigating a “reported trim issue,” which refers to modifications made to an aircraft’s control surfaces to keep it stable and level while in flight. Initial reports from the agency said that the plane encountered strong turbulence late on Friday afternoon.
Because trim issues were identified the previous year, the Federal Aviation Administration advised pilots operating the same model of Bombardier aircraft to take additional pre-flight precautions.
The analysis of the flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder, and other data, including the weather at the time, will provide investigators with further information, according to the NTSB.
The Bombardier executive jet was en route from Leesburg, Virginia, to Keene, New Hampshire, when it decided to do a U-turn and head to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut. There were two crew members and three passengers on board.
Dana Hyde, 55, of Cabin John, Maryland, was the individual who passed away; she was taken to a hospital in Hartford,
Connecticut, where she was later pronounced dead, according to the Connecticut State Police on Monday. She died from blunt-force trauma, according to the findings of the chief medical examiner’s office.
Hyde is the wife of Jonathan Chambers, a business partner traveling on the aircraft with his son, according to Conexon, the aircraft owner, based in Kansas City, Missouri. The company claimed that the father and the son were unharmed.
During her career in Washington, D.C., Hyde had various positions, including counsel for the 9/11 Commission, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States, and others, according to her LinkedIn page.
During President Bill Clinton’s administration, she worked as a special assistant to the president for cabinet affairs, a special assistant to the deputy U.S. attorney general, a senior policy adviser at the State Department, and an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget.
Despite safety advancements, turbulence, which is unstable air in the sky, still causes injuries to airplane passengers. Yet fatalities from turbulence are incredibly uncommon. According to the FAA, from 2009 to 2020, there were 30 injuries but no fatalities.
Buffeting or altitude variations may also be the result of trim issues.
According to spokesman Sarah Sulick, the NTSB considers each aspect and intends to release a preliminary report in two to three weeks.
After several incidents in which the pilot of a Bombardier BD-100-1A10 attempted to climb the plane, the horizontal stabilizer caused the nose of the aircraft to drop, the FAA issued its air directive last year.
The rule required increased pitch trim pre-flight checks and updated cockpit procedures for pilots to utilize in specific situations, and it applied to an estimated 678 aircraft with U.S. registration.
The Challenger 300 and Challenger 350 are additional popular names for the Bombardier BD-100-1A10 aircraft.
The jet’s Canadian maker, Bombardier, issued a statement saying that it could not comment on the probable cause of the in-flight issue but did offer its “deepest sympathy to all those touched by this disaster.”
According to Transport Canada and all other international airworthiness regulations, the business “stands behind our aircraft, which are built to be durable and reliable,” in a statement.