Nassau police Thursday released the identities of a pilot and two passengers killed Tuesday when a single-engine plane broke apart above Syosset while federal officials said they expect to wrap up their investigation Friday.
Fragments of the 43-year-old Beechcraft Bonanza rained down on a residential neighborhood at about 3:39 p.m. Tuesday.
Two public schools and a BOCES campus encircle the area where authorities recovered parts of the plane and the bodies of the victims. Minutes before the six-seat plane went down, the pilot, identified as David C. Berube, 66, of Bristol, Connecticut, had radioed in a distress call to air traffic controllers telling them he was having trouble controlling the aircraft.
Police identified the passengers as Dana E. Parenteau, 49, and Benjamin Bridges, 32. Police said both were also Bristol residents but those who knew Parenteau said she lived in Morgan, Vermont.
The plane was more than three hours into its flight from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Plainville, Connecticut, when Berube reported trouble. Investigators said Wednesday they found no evidence of an explosion before the aircraft broke apart.
A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said a preliminary crash report is expected to be released in one to two weeks.
The oldest of Parenteau’s two daughters said her mother loved the outdoors and riding motorcycles.
“She was just a really bright woman and she was very happy and she was . . . daring, brave,” said Shelby Parenteau, 24, adding that Berube was her longtime boyfriend, and they were returning Tuesday from his son’s wedding.
Danielle Wright, office manager at the doctor’s office in Newport, Vermont, where Parenteau worked, said she “was full of life, full of spirit.”
Though Berube owned a business in Bristol, they spent weekends in Vermont together.
“He was a sweet guy,” Wright said of the pilot and former stock car racer. “He really treated her very well.”
The couple had many shared interests, but Wright said Parenteau didn’t like to fly. “She was petrified to fly,” she said, “but she did it because David loved it.”
Relatives of Berube declined to comment.
The Hartford Courant said Bridges worked for Berube. No one answered a Connecticut phone number listed for Bridges.