Friday, August 9, 2019

Beechcraft F33A Bonanza, N4082S: Fatal accident occurred August 08, 2019 in Hatboro, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Kiran, Divya Khurana and Jessy Jasvir S Khurana 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Jasvir S. Khurana

Date: 08-AUG-19
Time: 65:70:00Z
Regis#: N4082S
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 33
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 3
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Operation: 91

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

Adam Gerhardt, Air Safety Investigator - National Transportation Safety Board, briefs the media about the Beechcraft F33A Bonanza that crashed in Upper Moreland Township on August 8th. 

Federal investigators have begun the complicated task of finding out what caused the small-plane crash in Montgomery County early Thursday that claimed the lives of two Philadelphia-area doctors and their 19-year-old daughter.

Adam Gerhardt, an air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators are collecting pieces of the Beechcraft F33A Bonanza at the crash site in Upper Moreland for transport to a secure facility in Clayton, Del., for further study.

Staff from the federal agency will remain in Upper Moreland for the next few days, Gerhardt said. A preliminary report of their findings will be made available this month, with the full version to bereleased within a year.

The lack of eyewitnesses to the crash — neighbors only heard the sound of the descending plane — may complicate the investigation. It was not immediately known, for instance, whether the plane went straight in on its final descent or was in a glide. There was no distress call from pilot Jasvir Khurana, 60, a professor at Temple University’s Katz School of Medicine.

Khurana; his wife, Divya, 54, also a professor; and their 19-year-old daughter, Kiran, were killed. The couple’s older daughter, Saranya, was not aboard, authorities said. The family lived in Lower Merion.

Upper Moreland Police Chief S. Michael Murphy said his department was hoping to locate footage from home security cameras that might have captured some of the plane’s last moments.

After taking off from Northeast Philadelphia Airport bound for Ohio, the plane was airborne for only three minutes before rapidly losing altitude and crashing into the rear yards of four homes on Minnie Lane, about 10 miles from the airport. No one on the ground was harmed.

The Bonanza reached an altitude of 1,325 feet before heading down, picking up speed as it descended. At the last point of radar measurement, 775 feet from the ground, it was moving at 205 mph.

One neighbor, John Quatrini, said he heard what appeared to be a loud engine directly above his house just before the crash 400 yards away, suggesting that the plane’s engine was working or at least had been restarted as the plane descended.

Debris was spread over four properties. Al Yurman, a former NTSB investigator, said Friday that agency experts would study where pieces were scattered for evidence of a possible airborne structural failure.

Unlike commercial jets, private planes are not required to be equipped with a “black box” to store flight data. Some owners upgrade their private planes to include them.

The Bonanza is among the most popular single-engine planes in the United States. Beechcraft has produced 17,000 since 1947, making it the longest continually produced plane still being manufactured. Estimates are that 12,000 are still being flown.

The Khuranas’ Bonanza was built in 1975; experts say the typical private plane in the U.S. is of that vintage. A used plane sells for between $80,000 and $300,000, experts said. Its powerful engine permits it to take off from smaller airfields, climb rapidly, and cruise at 200 mph.

In the last decade, there have been 10 fatal crashes of the plane in the U.S., killing 17 people. In several of those cases, the NTSB was unable to determine precisely what caused the crash. After one such crash, for instance, the final report blamed the accident on a "loss of airplane control for reasons that could not be determined because examination of the wreckage revealed no mechanical deficiencies. "

Tom Turner, executive director of the air safety arm of the American Bonanza Society, an organization for owners of the aircraft, said its overall safety record was excellent, given the large number of planes still in use.

Tom Haines, a spokesman for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the national organization for private-plane owners, agreed, saying the craft had “a very good safety record.”

In general, he said, the accident rates for private planes has fallen in half in the last 20 years. When crashes do happen, he said, the cause is most often pilot error.

He said the high-performance piston-engine Bonanza with retractable landing gear was a high-status buy, “the kind of plane that people look forward to owning when they reach a certain point in life.”

Stephanie Harder, spokesman for Textron Aviation Inc., maker of Beechcraft, declined Friday to discuss the accident or any matters involving the plane. Textron, which manufactured Cessna planes, acquired Beechcraft in 2014 in a major consolidation in the private-airplane industry. Both firms are based in Wichita, Kansas.

Jasvir Khurana, who was first licensed as a pilot five years ago, was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Temple. His wife was a pediatric neurologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and a professor at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Kiran Khurana graduated last year from Harriton High School, where she was on a nationally ranked squash team. After leaving Harriton, she enrolled at McGill University in Montreal.

Those who knew the Khuranas continued to grieve Friday.

Larry Kaiser, dean of the Katz School of Medicine, recalled Jasvir Khurana as a quiet and personable man who “always had a smile.”

Kaiser said he first met Khurana more than 20 years ago, when both were at Penn Medicine.

Khurana joined Temple’s pathology department in 2002 and specialized in bone diseases. With 32 clinical and research faculty members, the pathology department is relatively small, and professors work closely with residents.

Khurana took pride in his role as an educator, Kaiser said.

“He made a major contribution to a generation of students and residents. That’s really what all of us are in this business for,” Kaiser said Friday as dozens of Temple medical students and their families buzzed around him following a white-coat ceremony for 195 students at the university’s performing arts center.

The nature of Khurana’s death has shaken the Temple community, Kaiser said. “The suddenness makes it all that much more difficult, especially in a department like pathology where it’s one-on-one-type mentoring and teaching,” he said.

The death hit hard, too, at Harriton. Tom O’Brien, a longtime staffer there, said Khuranas had been fixtures at the school for more than a decade — among Kiran, her older sister, and three cousins, at least one member of the family has walked the school’s halls since 2008.

“This is absolutely devastating,” said O’Brien, coordinator of the school’s International Baccalaureate program, which the Khurana girls were actively involved in and for which their parents volunteered.

“Just so much lost potential,” he added. “Kiran, at 19, had her entire future ahead of her.”

“She was just a sweet, quiet, lovely young woman. Just a really lovely young woman," said Neill Hartley, who directed Kiran in several shows at Harriton High.

Kiran was an ensemble member in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in 2017, and worked on the crew in several other shows.

She had also volunteered at the Philadelphia Zoo and was one of four high school students selected to travel to Ecuador to study alongside scientists caring for critically endangered frogs.

“An extremely gifted and exceptional young woman, Kiran held a deep passion for conservation and the law, and planned to use the two to help wildlife and wild places,” said Vikram H. Dewan, zoo president. “Kiran made an indelible mark on everyone she encountered at the zoo, especially her zoo family.”

At the high school, O’Brien remembered her as reserved in contrast to her more outgoing sister. But Kiran’s quiet exterior hid a compassionate heart, he said. She cared deeply for her friends, and was always willing to assist her classmates in the program. And in the rare moments when she did speak her mind, she commanded attention.

“Certainly her teachers are upset — the range of reaction was from absolute shock to tears,” O’Brien said. “There is a lot of pain and sympathy being felt for Saranya right now.”

Original article can be found here ➤

A Temple University doctor, a Drexel University doctor, and their teen daughter were killed when their small plane sliced through backyards in a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, neighborhood shortly after takeoff Thursday morning.

Dr. Jasvir "Jesse" Khurana, 60, his wife, Dr. Divya Khurana, 54, and their daughter, Kiran Khurana, 19, of Lower Merion Township, were all on board a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza at Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

NBC10 obtained audio of Dr. Jasvir Khurana, who had a pilot's license and was the pilot of the aircraft, speaking to air traffic control moments before the flight took off. In the audio, Dr. Khurana incorrectly repeats back parts of the route that were dictated to him by the tower controller. A frequency mix up is then heard.

The Beechcraft F33A Bonanza then took off from Northeast Philadelphia Airport at 6:12 a.m. and was headed to Columbus, Ohio, officials said.

About three minutes later, the flight crashed behind homes along Minnie Lane near Morris Road in Upper Moreland, about nine miles from the airport. Police arrived at the crash site shortly after receiving a 911 call around 6:20 a.m. and found the bodies of all three family members.

Debris could be seen strewn across a length of more than a football field that covers four yards. The aircraft came to rest in a wooded area after striking the ground, a gazebo, backyard shed, fence and several trees.

"There are pieces of debris spread out over four backyards," Upper Moreland Township Police Chief Mike Murphy said.

No one on the ground was hurt and the plane didn't hit any homes, only the shed, according to investigators.

"It's a miracle that no homes were struck," Murphy said.

The county coroner arrived on the scene later Thursday morning and recovered the bodies.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene later Thursday morning. They said there were no indications that Dr. Khurana made any sort of distress call, according to Murphy.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the crash. The National Weather Service reported conditions were overcast and hazy and appeared to be under instrument flight rules (IFR). IFR means the pilot would need to follow rules for flying in clouds.

NTSB officials are investigating the incident. The plane will be moved to a secure facility in Clayton, Delaware.

Neighbor Linda Alberson heard a boom, louder than thunder, and walked to see what it was. She saw the damaged shed nearby.

Homeowner Chris Crane had debris in his backyard and had his gazebo damaged.

"The house shook," Crane said.

The noise the wreck made sounded like nothing Crane had heard before.

Crews could be seen blocking roads leading to the crash site.

The investigation in the neighborhood could take a couple of days, Murphy said. Police were hoping home surveillance video may have captured the last moments of the flight.

The plane was destined for another location after a stop in Ohio, according to Murphy. He did not reveal the final destination.

The flight-tracking site Flight Aware reports that the plane, tail No. N4082S, reached an estimated altitude of about 1,200 feet before quickly dropping. Flight Aware listed the estimated duration for Thursday's flight plan to be around 2 hours, 38 minutes.

The previous two flights registered to that tail number both originated and landed at Northeast Philadelphia Airport two weekends ago and lasted less than an hour.

Dr. Jasvir Khurana was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine with a focus on bone pathology.

"Dr. Khurana has been a valued faculty member in the Department of Pathology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University since 2002. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones," a spokesperson for Temple wrote in a statement.

Dr. Khurana's wife, Dr. Divya Khurana, was a professor of pediatrics and neurology at the Drexel University College of Medicine, specializing in pediatrics, sleep medicine and pediatric neurology. She was also a nationally recognized leader in epilepsy and mitochondrial disorders, according to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, where she had worked for more than two decades.

"She was loved by her patients and students alike," a spokesperson for St. Christopher's wrote. "Her sudden passing has left a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved her. The entire team of St. Christopher's offers their deepest sympathies to her family and friends at this very sad time. Her passing is truly a loss for the entire community."

The couple's daughter, Kiran, graduated from Harriton High School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in 2018.

"One of our kindest students," Harriton High School principal Scott Weinstein said. "She was humble, serving of others and had an extremely bright future. We are deeply saddened by this tremendous loss."

The couple is survived by their oldest daughter who was not on the plane at the time of the crash.

Story and video ➤

The Philadelphia medical community mourned the loss on Thursday of physician researchers Jasvir and Divya Khurana, who died in a plane crash along with their daughter Kiran, 19.

Jasvir Khurana, 60, was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, where he studied bone disease, including cancer and inflammation of bones in the foot due to diabetes. He also was a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Pathologists.

Divya S. Khurana, 54, was a pediatric neurologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and a professor at Drexel University College of Medicine, where she was known for her study of cellular structures called mitochondria — a cutting-edge area of research that is thought to hold answers for a wide array of diseases. She explored the role that mitochondria play in epilepsy and autism, and also was known for her specialized expertise in sleep medicine.

Kiran, their younger daughter, graduated last year from Harriton High School in Bryn Mawr, where she was on a nationally ranked squash team and was active in theater productions.

Harriton principal Scott Weinstein said in a statement that Kiran was “one of our kindest students. She was humble, serving of others, and had an extremely bright future. We are deeply saddened by this tremendous loss.”

Jennifer Gelinas, co-president of the Harriton-Lower Merion Squash Booster Club, described Kiran and her parents as a "kind and loving family.”

The husband-and-wife physician-researchers both trained at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and moved to the United States more than two decades ago.

At St. Christopher’s, neurology section chief Agust√≠n Legido was Divya Khurana’s supervisor and research colleague, but considered her most of all to be a friend.

“She was loved by her patients and her students alike,” Legido said. “It has left a huge void in the hearts of everybody here at the hospital.”

Divya Khurana’s love for children was unending, said Jessica Wilson-Rule of Levittown, whose son was a patient of Khurana’s for 16 years.

When Wilson-Rule was a new mom and her then 15-month-old son was having epileptic seizures, “she took the time to listen to us and answer all my questions,” she said.

“Her compassion went well beyond the patient’s room. She called us after hours, and she’d come in when she wasn’t on call to be with us. She was very kind, and got down to his level when she was talking,” she said.

Jasvir Khurana, who worked at Penn Medicine before going to Temple in 2002, also was fondly remembered by his peers.

Former colleague Paul Zhang, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Penn, said Khurana had worked as a surgeon in India, which gave him a valuable perspective when he switched to pathology in the United States — studying bones and soft tissues for signs of disease.

Much like his wife, Jasvir Khurana’s medical acumen was matched by his kindness of spirit, Zhang said.

“On a personal and professional level, he’ll be deeply missed,” Zhang said.

In an official statement, Temple University said: “Dr. Khurana has been a valued faculty member in the Department of Pathology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University since 2002. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

The Khuranas made their home on a quiet, tree-lined street in Lower Merion Township, 24 miles from the crash site.

They lived there with Jasvir’s parents, whom they often took long walks with, either alone or with Rusty, their energetic beagle-mix, according to neighbors.

Original article can be found here ➤


Anonymous said...

Dr. killer strikes again!!!

CFI no mo' said...

Carrying a lot of energy if it made that divot.

Anonymous said...

Never mentioned if he was instrument rated. Weather was marginal vfr at best. Sure looks like loss of control for some reason.

Anonymous said...

The pilot had a Private Pilot certificate with the following ratings:
Airplane Single Engine Land
Instrument Airplane

METARS indicate visibility was 5 SM with haze and a ceiling of 800 ft overcast:
KPNE 080954Z AUTO 00000KT 5SM HZ OVC008 22/19 A2977 RMK AO2 SLP080 T02220194=

Anonymous said...

Looking at FlightAware, plane got up to 1,300". Some reports say engine problems, I wonder if he got distracted in IMC, didn't scan the instruments and LOC. It happens quick and no altitude or ceiling to recover. When flying single-pilot IFR you must be on your "A" game. RIP

Anonymous said...

2 ATC files related to N4028S's accident:
Each file covers 30+ minutes. Transcript by poster.

* Timestamps are [mm:ss] offsets from the start of the audio file.
* Unrelated communications are omitted.

[00:00] [START OF AUDIO = 05:30:00 EDT]
[21:27] N4028S: [calling from ground at KPNE, where tower is not yet open] Philadelphia Approach, November-4-0-8-2-Sierra.
[21:35] KPHL-APP: Aircraft calling Philly, try me again on 1-2-4 point 3-5.
[22:14] N4028S: [2nd try] Philadelphia Approach, November-4-0-8-2-Sierra.
[22:23] KPHL-APP: [?Center for flight?], I said change to my frequency, 1-24-35.
[22:27] N4028S: Sorry, sorry. Then, the... there was no reply.
[22:32] KPHL-APP: Got about 5 aircraft on that frequency.
[24:27] N4028S: [3rd try] Philadelphia Approach, November-4-0-8-2-Sierra.
[24:42] N4028S: [4th try after no response] Philadelphia Approach, November-4-0-8-2-Sierra.
[24:50] KPHL-APP: 4-0-8-2-Sierra?
[24:52] N4028S: Of... at Philadelphia Northeast... [cuts out]
[24:58] N4028S: [resumes with clearer audio] to OSU. 8-2-Sierra.
[25:33] KPHL-APP: [slowly] November-4-0-8-2-Sierra, squawk 7-1-4-6.
[25:42] N4028S: Uh, we're on the ground, at Philadelphia Northeast. 4-0-8-2-Sierra.
[25:45] KPHL-APP: Are you on the ground?
[25:47] N4028S: Affirmative.
[25:48] KPHL-APP: Okay. Give me a second because I need to look at that route of... Northeast direct OSU is not going to work.
[25:57] N4028S: 8-2-Sierra.
[29:10] N4028S: Northeast Clearance Delivery, [additional unclear audio].
[29:45] KPNE-TWR: Attention all aircraft on Northeast Philadelphia Tower frequency. Northeast Philadelphia Control Tower is now open. Class D services are being resumed. ATIS information Golf is current. Northeast altimeter 2-9er-7-7. GPS runway 1-5 approach in use.
[31:17] N4028S: Clearance Delivery, November-4-0-8-2-Sierra.
[31:23] KPNE-CLC: November-4-0-8-2-Sierra, Northeast Clearance.
[31:28] N4028S: Um, Philly, uh, Approach, tried to get a clearance for, uh, IFR flight to..., uh, OSU. Uh, they said they would work on it, but it's been 10 minutes, and I've been waiting. Um, wondering if..., uh, wondering if you could help.
[31:44] [END OF FILE = 06:01:44 EDT]

Anonymous said...

"N4028S:" should be "N4082S:" in transcript.

Anonymous said...

After reading that transcript it seemed confusion was everywhere. I'm thinking if the pilot would have planned his departure for when the tower was open things might have gone better. He got distracted and flustered and that may have been the straw that broke the Bonanza's back. RIP