(Reuters) - An executive jet crashed into a Maryland house on Monday, killing all three people aboard the plane and a mother and two children inside the house, a fire official said.
The pilot of the jet who died in the crash had previously crashed a plane destined for the same airport in 2010, according to records.
The Embraer SA twin-engine Phenom 100 crashed into a home about one mile (1.6 km) from the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, a Washington suburb.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was registered to Michael Rosenberg, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and CEO of clinical research company Health Decisions, Inc.
In 2010, Rosenberg crashed another airplane near Monday’s wreck site, although there were no injuries in that crash, according to National Transportation Safety Board records. The 2010 accident occurred at the Montgomery County Airpark, also Rosenberg’s destination on Monday, when he lost control while landing and crashed into trees, according to records.
Monday’s crash killed Rosenberg who was piloting the aircraft and the two other people on board, as well as a mother and two children in the home, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said on Twitter.
The crash sparked a fire that destroyed two homes, and three others were damaged. Piringer said crews had contained the fires but some jet fuel had leaked into a stream.
The plane had departed from an airport on the Chapel Hill campus at 9:30 a.m., an NTSB spokesman told a news conference on Monday night.
Investigators, who were expected to be on the scene for up to seven days, will examine the experience and training of the pilot, weather factors, engine condition and interview the aircraft controller who handled the attempted landing, NTSB spokesman Robert Sumwalt said. They will also look into a possible bird strike.
“Our mission is to find out what happened and why it happened so it will never happen again,” Sumwalt told the news conference.
Witnesses told local media that the plane had been circling with the wheels down, and looked as if it was struggling for control.
Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by Susan Heavey, Eric Beech and Sandra Maler