Neighbors worry after plane crash

Plane crash into pond kills pilot, 2 daughters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A plane crash in a residential Sandalwood neighborhood is not something people who live in the Sutton Lakes neighborhood had ever worried about.

Sunday night's plane crash that killed pilot Michael Huber and his daughters, Abigail and Tess (pictured, below), has many neighbors worried about how close they live to Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport.

"Especially if someone's coming into an area they need to be told that this could happen and this has happened," said Rashanna Rivera.

Channel 4 spoke with neighbors in Sandalwood on Monday night, who said people who move to the area should be told of the potential plane crash dangers.

"My wife said she remembered something briefly in the paperwork that there was notification that we were living near an airport," said Dan Glesener. "It's like out of my mind that it's somewhat significantly less than what I signed in Washington where it showed maps and level noise expected to experience."

"We had a plane crash not too long ago in a parking lot," said David Cook. "The planes are always so close when they fly here anyway. They're not really high and they're a half mile from landing strip anyway."

IMAGES: Wreckage in retention pond

While there is always a risk of a crash in flight, Jacksonville High Time Helicopter pilot Bill Hay told Channel 4 flying is just as safe as riding in a car.

"Is it dangerous for the folks that live around the airport, my opinion, I've got a biased interest. I am a pilot, no it's not inherently dangerous to live near an airport," said Hay. "Is it sometimes noisy? Yes. Can it be dangerous in instances like this, yeah, but you know you take chances everywhere you go. We take chances driving on the street at night. Flying is a safe form of entertainment. It's a safe form of transportation. Anybody that does it is trying to do it, the best they possibly can at their sport."

Channel 4 also spoke Monday night with David Elian. Elian is a real-estate agent with Keller Williams. Elian said people typically do not look at safety if they're buying a home around an airport, just the noise situation. Elian said his sellers have to disclose if the property is in a noise zone, but not if it has history of crashes.

"There's always gonna be a danger with living near an airport," said Elian. "The best thing I can say with buyers is go to that area, walk around, drive around and see how bad that noise is."

A number of professionals in the aviation field told Channel 4 that there really aren't any records kept of what would be considered danger zones around area airports. The only thing kept on file are noise abatement maps that show where noise is an issue.

Hay told Channel 4 he believes there are two possible scenarios as to why Huber's plane went down Sunday night.

"I think the NTSB is going to come back with two possible scenarios. The first is going to be a stall cock pit workload, got distracted, lost too much airspeed, the aircraft stalled and made impact with terrain," said Hay. "The other is a possible overloaded cockpit meaning that he was doing too many things trying to find a way to get down and possibly flew the aircraft into terrain."

Hay said the fog in the air Sunday night created a perfect storm of problems, causing Huber to go down. Hay said that he had met Hubert a few times at Craig Airport and that he was an experienced pilot.

"Fog can come and go in 20 or 30 minutes and when he took off out of Ft. Pierce, it may have been fine. Of course, there were some indications that the weather was going to get bad, but along the route he had an hour to think about it – no pilot takes off with the idea it's bad, whether where I am going to land but I am going to do it anyway," said Hay. "They just don't do it. He did the best he could with what he had to do."

The NTSB will spend 6 to 9 months investigating the cause of Sunday night's crash. So far, the NTSB said it appears Huber was using the electronic instrument landing system when the plane was approaching Craig Airport. NTSB will review all of the available radio traffic and flight data.

"Tomorrow and Wednesday, we'll be going through wreckage, documenting, looking for discrepancies," said NTSB's Robert Gertz. "The pilot, the machine and the environment. By pilot, I mean we'll document all recent experiences. The FAA will conduct a toxicological test, which is pretty standard in a fatal accident."

The NTSB expects preliminary findings to be released in five to ten business days.

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