Update: Ex-Obama Official Did NOT Die from Turbulence
The erratic, in-flight movements of a corporate jet that led to the death of a former Obama and Clinton administration official earlier this month were not caused by turbulence as earlier reports previously suggested, according to a report last week.
Dana Hyde, 55, died on March 3 after she was fatally injured while flying from Keene, New Hampshire, to Leesburg, Virginia, according to Fox Business News.
The National Transportation Safety Board at first reported that the plane encountered turbulence during the flight. However, investigators revealed Friday that pilots lost control of the jet after switching off a system that stabilizes the aircraft.
According to Fox Business, the NTSB’s report explained that the pilots were working to address several warnings and, following a checklist of instructions, they turned off a switch that “trims” or adjusts the stabilizer on the Bombardier jet’s tail, Fox reported.
Doing so caused the jet to fly upward at around four times the force of gravity, according to The Associated Press.
The jet then dipped slightly lower and again turned upward before pilots regained control, the AP reported.
The jet was then diverted to the Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, Fox reported. Hyde was pronounced dead the same day at a Hartford hospital.
Pilots told investigators the plane had not encountered turbulence.
According to Fox Business, the Federal Aviation Administration previously warned of trim problems with the same Bombardier jet model and instructed pilots to take precautions by conducting extra preflight safety measures.
Bombardier, a Canadian business jet manufacturer, expressed its condolences to Hyde’s family and promised to investigate the incident.
“Bombardier is deeply saddened by this tragic event,” the company told Fox. “We extend our sincerest sympathies to all those affected by this accident.”
In a previous statement to AP, the company said it stands behind the safety of its jets.
Passengers aboard the plane at the time of the incident included Hyde, her husband and their son, and the two pilots. No one but Hyde was injured.
The family had been on a trip to visit New England schools, according to The Washington Post.
Both pilots flying the jet were experienced and had logged 5,000 and 8,000 total hours of flying time, respectively, according to AP. They received their ratings in this jet model in October.
According to Fox Business, it was not clear at this point if Hyde was buckled into her seat or if she was elsewhere in the jet when the incident occurred.
Hyde previously served as an attorney for both the Obama and Clinton administrations.
She was appointed by Obama to lead the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which she did from May of 2014 until January 2017. She also served as counsel to the 9/11 Commission and Special Assistant to the President for Cabinet Affairs, according to her Millennium Challenge biography.
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