Voice recorder found in deadly wreckage of mid-air crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Voice recorder found in deadly wreckage of mid-air crash

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  • Investigators to look at jet's position before collision

    Investigators to look at jet's position before collision

    Monday, August 17 2015 8:06 PM EDT2015-08-18 00:06:49 GMT
    Federal investigators examining debris from two planes that collided in clear weather over Southern California this weekend will be looking at the position of the fast-moving jet in relation to the slower, single-engine Cessna as it approached the small airport in San Diego County, officials said Monday. 
    Federal investigators examining debris from two planes that collided in clear weather over Southern California this weekend will be looking at the position of the fast-moving jet in relation to the slower, single-engine Cessna as it approached the small airport in San Diego County, officials said Monday. 

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Federal investigators are trying to determine what led to a deadly mid-air collision in Otay Mesa Sunday.

Five people died as a twin-engine Sabreliner carrying four people and a single-engine Cessna 172 with no passengers aboard collided on approach to Brown Field Municipal Airport shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday in Otay Mesa, authorities said. 

The Cessna went down in an open-space preserve east of state Route 125, and the wreckage of the Sabreliner ended up west of Harvest Road.

All five victims died at the scene of the crash, which left aircraft wreckage strewn across a field near R.J. Donovan Correction Center and sparked several brush fires.

Three of the occupants of the Sabreliner were identified as BAE Systems employees John Kovach, Carlos Palos and Jeff Percy and were from Mojave. The fourth was a contract employee with the military contracting company, which leased the aircraft. His name and that of the pilot of the Cessna, who was on a cross-country trip when the collision occurred, were withheld pending family notification.

The Cessna's pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings. The Sabreliner jet was leased by BAE Systems, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

“It appears it was a very violent crash, as you can tell by both aircraft being in multiple pieces,” said Cal Fire Division Chief Nick Schuler.

The voice recorder from the Sabreliner has been recovered, authorities said. And, the wreckage is being shipped to Phoenix for examination.

[READ RELATED: Investigators to look at jet's position before collision]

Cal Fire and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department responded to the crash Sunday, along with multiple other agencies.

“When the first arriving units got on the scene, they reported two aircraft down, both fully involved with fire in the vegetation,” said Schuler.

Firefighters from San Diego, Chula Vista and Cal Fire worked on the crash aftermath and rash of brush fires. A Chula Vista firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and was treated at a hospital, according to Cal Fire.

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