Local News

Ice buildup blamed for deadly 2014 plane crash that killed Durham CEO

Posted June 25, 2016

— A 2014 plane crash in Gaithersburg, Maryland that killed a Durham company's CEO and five others, including three people inside a home, was caused by ice accumulation that stalled the aircraft, according to a government report.

Using information from the airplane's cockpit voice and data recorder, the National Transportation Safety Board determined the pilot did not use the airplane's ice protection systems during the approach to Montgomery County Airpark on December 8. The failure to use the deicing systems caused the airplane to stall in the air and ultimately crash into a house.

Once the plane stalled, its altitude was too low to recover.

Dr. Michael Rosenberg, 66, president and CEO of the Durham-based Health Decisions, was among the six people killed in the crash. Rosenberg's two passengers were identified as David Hartman, 52, a vice president at Durham-based clinical pharmacology consulting firm Nuventra Inc., and Chiji Ogbuka, 31, of Raleigh, a regulatory affairs manager with Health Decisions.

The plane crashed into a house, killing three people inside. Authorities identified the trio as 36-year-old Marie Gemmell and sons Cole, 3, and Devin, 1 month.

"The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s conduct of an approach in structural icing conditions without turning on the airplane’s wing and horizontal stabilizer deice system, leading to ice accumulation on those surfaces," the report said.

The jet took off from Chapel Hill on its way to Maryland. Hartman's pastor said he believed the men were on their way to Washington to meet with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials.


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