WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — A business jet was hit by severe turbulence over New England, killing a passenger and forcing the aircraft to divert toward Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, authorities said Saturday.
Five people were aboard the Bombardier business jet that was rocked by turbulence Friday afternoon while traveling from Keene, New Hampshire, to Leesburg, Virginia, said Sarah Sulick, a spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board.
The extent of the damage was unclear, and the NTSB did not provide details on the cause of death. The plane is owned by Conexon, a telecommunications company based in Kansas City, Missouri, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database. The company declined to comment on Saturday.
NTSB investigators were interviewing the two crew members and surviving passengers as part of an investigation into the deadly turbulence encounter, Sulick said. Voice and data recorders from the plane’s cockpit have been sent to NTSB headquarters for analysis, he said.
Turbulence, which is unstable air in the atmosphere, continues to be a cause of injury for airline passengers despite improvements in airline safety over the years.
Earlier this week, seven people were injured bad enough to be transported to hospitals after a Lufthansa Airbus A330 experienced turbulence while flying from Texas to Germany. The plane was diverted to Virginia’s Washington Dulles International Airport.
Turbulence accounted for more than one third of accidents on largest commercial airlines between 2009 and 2018, according to the NTSB.