Two dead, three survive after plane from Ohio State Airport crashes in southwest Florida

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A small private jet traveling from Ohio State University Airport crashed Friday afternoon in southwest Florida.

Five people were on board, according to the FAA. Naples Airport officials confirmed two of them died and three survived.

AirNav RadarBox flight tracking shows the path the jet took before the crash. As it approached Naples Airport flying east, the pilot veered slightly north before curving back south over Interstate 75.

Radio recordings showed the pilot contacted the Naples Air Traffic Control tower to inform them of the situation before the crash. The pilot said the jet had “lost both engines, emergency. I’m making an emergency landing.”

The operator cleared the pilot for landing at Naples Airport, but the pilot responded, “We’re not going to make the runway.”

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  • (Courtesy Photo/WBBH)
    (Courtesy Photo/WBBH)
  • (Courtesy Photo/Florida Department of Transportation)
    (Courtesy Photo/Florida Department of Transportation)
  • The Bombardier Challenger 600 before the crash (Photo courtesy/Jorge Andrés Solano Sancho)
    The Bombardier Challenger 600 before the crash (Photo courtesy/Jorge Andrés Solano Sancho)

The plane crashed on the highway at about 3:15 p.m. near Naples in Collier County, collided with a car and caught fire. The plane was approximately 250 feet in the air when it crashed, according to WBBH. The plane did not run out of fuel. Air traffic controllers said the fire was from the fuel, WBBH reports.

Photos taken at the scene showed a plume of smoke billowing up from the jet. Emergency crews surrounded the burning wreckage quickly, and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the FAA had closed all lanes of I-75 near the crash. The lanes remain closed Saturday morning, according to a report from WFLA.

“The challenger that was involved in the accident is a sophisticated twin engine business jet,” said aviation attorney and pilot Ladd Sanger. “And to have some kind of dual engine flameout is highly unusual.”

The plane, a Bombardier Challenger 600 operated by HopAJet, took off at 1:02 p.m. from Ohio State University Airport. It was the jet’s second trip of the day and a returning flight to Florida, according to flight records. The Challenger previously took off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at 9:35 a.m., landing in Ohio at 11:57 a.m. before taking off for Naples around an hour later.

The jet was scheduled to return to Fort Lauderdale after landing at Naples.

The Challenger 600 seated 12. An Ohio State spokesperson said it was not a university-affiliated plane, and a representative from HopAJet said the company was working with authorities.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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