Two prominent members of Ohio Jewish community die in NY plane crash

The pair took off for Cleveland to attend a funeral and are believed to have lost their engine in stormy weather


Two Jewish men have been killed after their private plane crashed soon after taking off from JFK airport in New York City on Thursday.

The aircraft, a single-engine Beechcraft A36, reportedly took off close to 5pm from New York, headed for Cleveland and according to a flight tracker, swerved north before dropping off the radar of nearby Westchester County Airport.

A call from the plane was made around 5:25pm to Westchester County Airport to report low oil pressure. Five minutes later, the airport lost contact with the aircraft when it's believed to have crashed.

Both men, identified as Boruch Taub and Binyamin Chafetz, were prominent members of Cleveland’s Jewish community.

Moments before the crash, Mr Chafetz sent a text to a friends’ WhatsApp group that said their plane had “lost engines” and asked his community to pray for him.

The message read: “I love you and the kids,

“I am sorry for everything I have done. We lost engines. Call and have community say Tehillim.”

Tehillim is the Hebrew term for the Book of Psalms.

A ‘mayday’ call was heard over air traffic control minutes later.

An hours-long search was launched in the area’s heavily wooded landscape, with area officials saying they had located the plane around 11pm, and that both passengers had been killed. Flight conditions were poor, and heavy rain and thunderstorms were in the area.

According to the Yeshiva World News site, Jewish volunteers helped to locate and retrieve the bodies to make sure that they were treated in accordance with Jewish burial practices.

The plane’s owner told a local CBS news station that the two had been experienced, pilots.

Mr Chafetz leaves behind a wife and seven children.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash.

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