ADDISON, Texas - Seven of the ten people killed in a plane crash on Sunday at Addison Airport were identified on Monday as federal investigators said they have recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the aircraft.
A family of four was on the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air 350 that crashed just after 9 a.m. Sunday into a hangar at the airport. Mom Ornella Ellard and stepfather Brian died in the crash, along with children Alice Maritato, 15, and Dylan Maritato, 13.
Alice attended John Paul II High School, which confirmed the deaths in a note sent to students. Alice was a rising sophomore at the school and Dylan would have been an eighth-grader at all Saints Catholic School. Brian was part-owner of Oak Lawn Italian restaurant Mille Lire. Ornella was an interior designer.
Steve Thelen, 58, and wife Gina also died in the crash. Steve worked at JLL real estate company, who notified employees of his and his wife's death in an email to its staff. Mathew Palmer, 28, was identified as a victim by the Dallas County medical examiner's office.
John and Mary Titus were also on the plane. The pilot has not been named.
National Transportation Safety Board officials said Monday they hope the information they are working to get out of the voice recorder will help them figure out why the plane crashed.
"The other thing we may be able to get out of, is some background noise that is picked up by the CVR which will give us a little better idea of what's going on with the airplane itself," said Bruce Landsberg, NTSB vice chairman.
The NTSB is looking at several factors in Sunday's crash, including the flight team's training and experience, weather conditions, air traffic control communications and the plane's maintenance history. The NTSB said the plane crashed into the hangar fully intact.
"The team was able to determine the landing gear was down at the time of the impact. Unfortunately, due to the extensive post impact fire and damage incurred during the impact sequence, other systems are virtually destroyed and at this time we do not believe we'll be able to establish positive conditions for other systems and flight controls," said Dr. Jennifer Rodi, NTSB investigator in charge.
The plane was headed to St. Petersburg, Fla. with two flight crew and eight passengers.
David Snell was with a friend, getting ready to fly from Addison Airport on Sunday when they saw the plane take off and then crash moments later.
"As a pilot, feeling helpless, watching this happen and there's nothing you can do, it was a sickening feeling," Snell said. "From the sound of it, it sounded as if it was grossly underpowered for takeoff power and then when it wasn't climbing and turned, it looks as though the airplane stalled, and when the wing fell to the left unfortunately there's nothing you can do that low to the ground to recover."
The aircraft was owned by EE Operations LLC and had recently changed ownership. It was previously owned by a charter company in Chicago. The plane is about two years old and the tail number was in the process of being changed.
NTSB officials say they hope to have a preliminary report on the crash in about two weeks.