Passenger Dies on Board Private Jet During Severe Turbulence, Forcing Bombardier to Divert and Land in Connecticut

According to Sarah Sulick, a representative for the National Transportation Safety Board, the incident happened late Friday afternoon after it was hit by turbulence.

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A passenger onboard a private jet was killed on Friday after the aircraft was hit by severe turbulence over New England, forcing the flight to divert to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut and make, authorities said on Saturday. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the incident.

According to the NTSB, five passengers were traveling in the Bombardier Challenger 300 that took off from Keene, New Hampshire, and was heading to Leesburg, Virginia, when the incident happened. The safety board reported that it had taken the cockpit voice and data recorders off the jet and was interviewing the two crew members and two survivors.

Died Out of Shock

Bombardier Challenger 300
The Bombardier Challenger 300 after landing at Bradley International Airport, Connecticut Twitter

The degree of the aircraft's damage was unclear, and the NTSB did not provide information such as if the victim was wearing a seatbelt. According to Sarah Sulick, a representative for the National Transportation Safety Board, the incident happened late Friday afternoon after it was hit by turbulence.

A preliminary report would be available, according to the agency, in two to three weeks.

A Federal Aviation Administration database reveals that Conexon, a Kansas City, Missouri-based business, is the owner of the aircraft. According to Sulick, the cockpit voice and data recorders of the aircraft were delivered to the organization's headquarters for analysis.

A CS300 Bombardier (For representational purpose only) Reuters

Data from Flight Aware shows that the plane made the reverse journey from Leesburg to Dillant/Hopkins on Thursday. The distance between Keene, New Hampshire, where the plane took off, and Bradley Airport is roughly 70 miles.

"On 03/03/2023, at approximately 3:49 PM, Connecticut State Troopers responded to a medical assist call at Bradley International Airport. One patient was subsequently transported to an area hospital via ambulance.

Our agency is assisting as needed; however, the NTSB and the FBI are investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. For further information please contact those agencies directly,' a Connecticut State Police spokesperson told

Encounter With Death

Earlier this week, seven passengers were severely injured and required hospitalization after turbulence occurred on a Lufthansa Airbus A330 on a flight from Texas to Germany.

Bombardier Challenger 300
Bombardier Challenger 300 (representational purpose only) Twitter

The aircraft was en route to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. One of the travelers was Camila McConaughey, wife of Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. She described it as "chaos" and added, "the turbulence kept on coming."

Yet fatalities are extremely rare. A draft report will be released in two weeks.

"I can't remember the last fatality due to turbulence," said Robert Sumwalt, a former NTSB chair and executive director of the Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Between 2009 and 2018, the NTSB found that more than a third of accidents on bigger commercial flights were caused by turbulence.

In December, a Hawaiian Airlines flight experienced significant turbulence, leaving 36 passengers injured. Days earlier, a second flight from Brazil was also rocked by turbulence, sending five passengers to the hospital in Houston.

There was no hint that the two incidents of turbulence were connected. Air travel is incredibly busy this week all around the world due to the winter holidays.