NTSB: Mayday call made prior to deadly Syosset plane crash

Nassau Police investigate the scene of a fatal plane crash on Cold Spring Road on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 in Syosset.

Nassau Police investigate the scene of a fatal plane crash on Cold Spring Road on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 in Syosset. (5/4/16)

SYOSSET - The National Transportation Safety Board and Nassau County police held a news conference Wednesday to provide an update on their investigation of a small plane crash in Syosset that killed all three people on board.

Police on Wednesday began removing pieces of the plane, which crashed Tuesday afternoon on Cold Spring Road near South Woods Middle School and Syosset High School.

Two men and a woman on board the plane were killed. Police are waiting to release their identities. A bystander reported seeing one of the bodies. Police officials say one body was recovered from the nearby BOCES school, another was found west of the first body in the woods and the third was discovered about 50 yards from the second.

No one on the ground was injured.

Officials say that the debris field stretched about one-third of a mile. The owners of one home reported pieces of the plane in their backyard and what appears to be a golf bag stuck in the top of a tree.

"I heard 'boom.' They were all falling down -- glass and pieces of plane in the backyard and in the front yard and in the driveway," said Lucille Weiss, who thought that the plane crash was a car crash.

In cellphone video obtained by News 12, parts of the plane are seen falling from the sky onto a field at the middle school.

The NTSB said the small Beechcraft V35B plane, built in the 1970s, broke apart midair around 3:45 p.m. According to officials, the pilot made a mayday call just after 2:30 p.m. He reported difficulty maintaining control of the aircraft, in addition to experiencing instruments malfunctioning. The plane was traveling from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Plainville, Connecticut.

NTSB officials say the pilot reported problems with the plane's vacuum system shortly before it broke up in flight. The vacuum system, officials say, provides power to the instrument panel, or dashboard, on board the aircraft.

Meanwhile, the BOCES Cultural Arts Center in Syosset was closed for the day as the investigation continues.

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