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Aviation accident attorney weighs in on plane crash that killed 2 Cuyahoga County men

The small plane crashed Thursday night and took the lives of Binyamin Chafetz and Baruch Taub, both from Northeast Ohio.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — "I am declaring an emergency. Our oil pressure is dropping." 

That was one of the last calls for help to air traffic control Thursday night, when a small plane heading to Cuyahoga County Airport crashed shortly after taking off from New York City. The crash tragically killed Baruch Taub and Binyamin Chafetz.

"This was a tragedy that is, of course, affecting a community here in Greater Cleveland," aviation accident attorney Jamie Lebovitz.

Lebovitz tells 3News he's worked with people across the world who lost loved ones in airplane crashes.

"Generally speaking, airplane accidents are rare, and they usually occur because of a multiplicity of reasons," he explained. "[A] common one is some failure of the airplane."

As the FAA and NTSB lead the investigation into what caused the deadly incident Thursday night, Lebovitz said they'll be looking into all aspects possible like maintenance history of the plane, examining each part of the aircraft.

"It could be a cylinder that failed, it could be a crack in the crane case, it could be a number of different variables," he said. "His oil pressure began to drop and he was losing a multiplicity of systems."

He adds they will likely also review the conduct of the Air Traffic Controllers to see if assistance was provided in a timely manner.

"Listening to the Air Traffic Control tapes, this was a busy period of time in the airspace surrounding [the] metropolitan New York area, and so the controller was working a number of different airplanes," he noted.

Lebovitz says the goal is to find a cause and ultimately prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.

"Who was responsible, why this happened, and importantly, how can something like this be prevented from happening again so that other families cannot suffer the same sense of loss and tragedy."


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