Two men are dead after a small plane crashed outstide of New York City on Thursday evening.
Officials identified Benjamin Chafetz, 45, and Boruch Taub, 40, of Ohio, as the occupants of a single-engine Beechcraft A36 which went down near Westchester County Airport, ABC 7 New York reports.
Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane around 5.30pm.
The pilot of the craft reported engine issues just before going dark.
“We’re not getting the performance we’re expecting, and I’m not sure why,” the pilot said, according to transcripts of radio traffic obtained by CBS News. “I am declaring an emergency, our oil pressure is dropping.”
The disappearance of the plane set off an intensive search-and-rescue effort throughout Westchester.
Rain and thunder storms hampered the effort, but the craft was eventually located in a heavily forested, 162-acre area called Loudon Point Woods, near Rye Lake, accoring to officials.
“The FBI was brought in to help ping cellphones, which then pinpointed the site and really expedited the confirmation that there was wreckage, and did confirm that two individuals had lost their lives,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said on Friday.
Chafetz and Taub, who took off from New York City’s John F Kennedy airport bound for Ohio, were both members of Cleveland’s Orthodox Jewish community, Mr Latimer added.
“Mr Taub and Mr Chafetz are gone,” the county official continued. “They leave a hole at the dinner table in their homes. They leave a hole in the life of their communities of faith. And losing them, that is the overarching story of today.”
Both men’s bodies were quickly removed from the scene and released to their families, allowing them to be buried in Ohio by sundown on Friday, conforming with Jewish tradition of burying the deceased within a day of their death, ABC 7 reports.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash, with the NTSB providing updates on the probe, the agencies said on Thursday.