The Latest: Orland Hills police say man never lived in town


EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on a small plane crash in East Hartford, Connecticut, near jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Officials in a Chicago suburb say there is no record a student pilot killed in a small plane crash in Connecticut ever lived in the village.

Orland Hills Mayor Kyle Hastings says there is no record Feras Freitekh, a Jordanian, has ever visited the village. However, he said Freitekh’s father, who wasn’t named, worked for a container company in the nearby town of Alsip.

Police Chief Thomas Scully says the father became friends with the owner of a neighboring business, who allowed mail for the father and son to be delivered to his Orland Hills home. He says the father was living in the container firm’s warehouse at the time.

Scully says the homeowner, who is a U.S. citizen, has lived in the home since 2004 and was forthcoming when questioned by authorities. He added authorities don’t know where Freitekh’s father currently lives.

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3:50 p.m.

A U.S. official familiar with the investigation into a Connecticut plane crash that killed one person says it appears to have been a case of suicide, not terrorism.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Flight instructor Arian Prevalla survived the East Hartford crash Tuesday. Student pilot Feras Freitekh died.

The official says the flight instructor described the student pilot to police investigators as disgruntled about learning to be a pilot. The official says the instructor told police there was an altercation in the cockpit during their training flight, and the instructor was unable to regain control of the plane from the student pilot.

The plane crashed onto a busy road near jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney’s headquarters.

— Associated Press writer Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.

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3:35 p.m.

A law enforcement official has identified the flight instructor and student pilot aboard a small plane that crashed in Connecticut.

The official tells The Associated Press that instructor Arian Prevalla survived the crash Tuesday in East Hartford near jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney, while student Feras Freitekh was killed. The official wasn’t authorized to disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities say Prevalla told them the crash was intentional, but officials say there is no indication of terrorism.

Prevalla’s social media pages indicate he is president of the American Flight Academy. They say he is originally from Albania and now lives in Hartford.

Public records show Freitekh has lived in the Chicago suburb of Orland Hills since 2013 and received a federal private pilot certificate last year.

— Associated Press writer David Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

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1:55 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the FBI is taking over the investigation into a fatal plane crash in Connecticut because of indications that it could have been a criminal act.

The NTSB said Wednesday that its initial investigation indicates Tuesday’s crash in East Hartford was intentional. An agency spokesman, Terry Williams, said he couldn’t elaborate on the basis of that finding.

One person aboard the plane was killed and another survived when the Piper PA-34 Seneca crashed Tuesday afternoon as they were trying to land at Brainard Airport in Hartford. It crashed near the headquarters of Pratt & Whitney, which makes military and commercial jet engines.

The mayor said Wednesday the survivor told authorities that the crash wasn’t an accident, but she cautioned the information had not been confirmed.

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11:40 a.m.

Police say there were two sets of controls aboard a small plane that crashed in Connecticut with a flight instructor and student on board, killing one of them.

East Hartford police Lt. Joshua Litwin told reporters Wednesday that he didn’t know who was controlling the plane when it crashed on a road.

One person was killed and another survived when the Piper PA-34 Seneca crashed Tuesday afternoon as they were trying to land at Brainard Airport in Hartford, just across the Connecticut River from the crash site. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the instructor or student had died.

Litwin says the person who escaped the wreckage is being treated for burns and is expected to survive.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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10:10 a.m.

The mayor of East Hartford, Connecticut, says the survivor of a small plane crash near a military jet-engine manufacturer told authorities that it was intentional.

Mayor Marcia Leclerc (leh-CLAIR’) told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the survivor told local detectives the crash was not an accident. Leclerc cautioned that the information has not been confirmed.

Authorities say a student pilot and an instructor were trying to land the Piper PA-34 Seneca at Brainard Airport in Hartford when it struck a utility pole and crashed around 4 p.m. Tuesday, bursting into flames. The pilot is hospitalized with serious burns and the passenger is presumed dead.

East Hartford police asked the FBI to assist the investigation because it happened near Pratt & Whitney, which makes military and commercial jet engines.

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9:05 a.m.

The police chief in East Hartford, Connecticut, has asked the FBI to assist the investigation into a fatal plane crash because it happened so close to Pratt & Whitney corporate headquarters.

Chief Scott Sansom called the jet engine maker “critical infrastructure.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are also involved in the investigation.

Authorities say a student pilot and an instructor were trying to land the Piper PA-34 Seneca at Brainard Airport in Hartford when it struck a utility pole and crashed onto the road around 4 p.m. Tuesday, bursting into flames.

Police say the pilot was hospitalized with serious burns and the passenger was in the wreckage and presumed dead. Police haven’t released names.

Two people in a minivan were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

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