After Friday evening's fatal plane crash in Hamilton Township the National Transportation Safety Board arrived Saturday morning to begin the process of gathering information early this morning.
"At approximately 4:51 yesterday afternoon, the control tower in Atlantic City, New Jersey received an emergency locator transmission from the ELT, emergency locator transmitter on board the aircraft," said Todd Gunther, Investigator in Charge with the NTSB.
Officials identified the plane as an RV–7A experimental amateur kit aircraft which was purchased, but not assembled by the pilot. Officials are now searching for answers in a mile–long debris field the plane left behind it.
"The aircraft is what we commonly refer to as fragmented,” said Gunther.
“It is divided into multiple pieces and in addition to that, it was subject to a post crash fire."
Officials also revealed details surrounding that subsequent fire.
"When the wreckage came down, the underbrush lit up. That's why we called the New Jersey State Forest Fire service, they put out the underbrush and just made sure it was not going to be extended over night," said Laureldale Volunteer Fire Company Chief Chris Tilley.
Officials say the flight was local and radar showed the plane reaching an altitude of 6,500 feet. Now, the investigation shifts to the plane's engine and structure as well as the pilot's physiology and weather conditions.
"In approximately 7 to 10 days once we return from the field, we'll file a preliminary report and that report will have the facts, conditions and circumstances as we know it up to that point," said Gunther.
Gunther says it will take the safety board nine months to a year to issue a statement of probable cause. The identity of the victim has not been released by the State Medical Examiner as local state and federal authorities continue to put the pieces together.
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