(Bloomberg) -- Two people were killed when a Learjet crashed as it was preparing to land at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport on Monday afternoon, setting off a fire that damaged buildings, police said.
The deceased were crew members and the only ones aboard, said Sergeant Scott Jordan of the Carlstadt, New Jersey, police.
The Learjet 35A, a twin-engine jet often used for business or personal travel, crashed at 3:30 p.m. about one-quarter mile (0.4 kilometer) from the busy hub for corporate aviation near New York, according to an emailed statement from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The flight originated from Philadelphia International Airport.
The aircraft was flying to the north toward runway 1 when the crash occurred, according to the FAA. Smoke could be seen rising from the scene and more than one structure caught fire, according to the NBCNewYork.com website.
The aircraft was being flown by Trans-Pacific Jets, a charter aircraft company based in Honolulu, the jet’s owner said in an interview. Chandra Hanson of Billings, Montana, said she owns the plane with her husband Brad. The Hansons fly on the aircraft, which is based in Salt Lake City, and allow it to be flown for hire when it’s not in use, Hanson said in a telephone interview.
The plane was being moved from Philadelphia to Teterboro, according to a person who answered the phone at Trans-Pacific who wouldn’t give his name.
Hanson said she and her husband own A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC of Billings, Montana, which is the registered owner of the plane, according to the FAA records.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to investigate, spokesman Christopher O’Neil said.
The plane crashed on Kero Road and Commerce Road in Carlstadt, New Jersey. The airport was closed to all traffic as of 3:35 p.m., according to a notice on an FAA website.
The airport was being buffeted by strong gusts at the time of the crash. An airport weather station reported winds of 17 miles (27 kilometers) per hour, gusting to 37 miles per hour, shortly after the crash.
While it’s difficult to accurately track accident rates on high-performance small planes used for corporate aviation and charter flights, a Bloomberg examination of that sector found there were five times more fatal accidents compared to airline crashes from 2000 through 2014, according to National Transportation Safety Board data.