A single-engine airplane crash on the Greenwich-Westchester border that in June of 2011 was likely caused by the pilot's decision to fly after learning of suspected mechanical problems, transportation officials announced this week.
The news comes on the heels of a study carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The board released a detailed report of the accident that includes weather information and comments from the coroner.
All aboard the aircraft—three passengers and one pilot—were killed on impact. The doomed aircraft had just taken off from Westchester County Airport and was en-route to Montauk.
Officials spotlight a damaged cylinder piston in their findings, and state that witnesses saw "[the plane's] engine initially idle rough" upon starting up.
"The probable causes of this accident [are] the pilot's decision to depart on the flight with a suspected mechanical deficiency and his subsequent decision to fly the final approach at a reduced power setting," the report reads. "Contributing to the accident was the improper timing of the magneto(s) that resulted in a severe detonation event."
The aircraft slammed into trees when it was approximately 50 feet above the ground, and caught fire after impact. The blaze then consumed the fuselage and cockpit before being extinguished by fire authorities.
The victims were Keith Weiner, 63, Lisa Weiner, 51, Isabel Weiner 14, and Lucy Walsh, 14; all from Manhattan.