Family of four identified in TX plane crash, headed to Albert Whitted

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A family of four have been identified as victims in a plane crash in Addison, Texas.

A letter from a high school in Plano, Texas, identified two students as Alice and Dylan Maritato.

Their mother Ornella Ellard and stepfather Brian Ellard are among the deceased.

According to Dallas media husband and wife, Steve and Gina Thelen were also on the plane that crashed. Steve Thelen’s company, JLL real estate, sent an email out to employees.

Published reports say the Ellard family owns the Boca Ciega Bay waterfront home in St.Pete Beach, and would fly to St. Petersburg on holidays.

The medical examiner has not released the officials names of the deceased.

Cell phone video captured the after math of the fiery plane crash in Sunday morning.

“The plane just crashed into the building here at Addison,” said a witness.

Ten people on board, two crew members and eight passengers, died on impact.

The Beechcraft BE-350 King Air was headed to St. Pete. The FAA said the aircraft struggled to gain altitude after taking off.

Operations at the Texas airport halted immediately.

“Everybody just stand by, we had accident on the field. So expect not to got out anytime soon,” said an air traffic controller.

The plane burst into flames after crashing into a private hangar.

“We noted that the airplane was damaged by impact forces and a post impact fire,” said Jennifer Rodi, National Transportation Safety Board investigator.

8 On Your Side’s local aviation expert, Jon Cox said he’s flown this series of aircraft many times and it has been widely used for years.

Federal officials are now working to determine what happened.

“Was there a problem with the engine. Was there a problem with flight control. Was the pilot’s handle, if they did have an emergency or an abnormal situation,” said Cox.

The cockpit voice recorder was recovered and being downloaded by officials. Investigators want to know the conversation between the crew, air traffic control, pilot and co-pilot.

They’ll also be listening for background noise, hoping it will tell them what was going on. Federal officials said according to radar data, the communication appeared normal and they were cleared for take off.

Authorities described the equipment on the plane as badly damaged during an afternoon news conference Monday.

“The team was able to identify the landing gear was down at the time of impact. Unfortunately, due to the extensive post-impact damage and fire… other systems are virtually destroyed,” said NTSB investigator Jennifer Rodi.

A preliminary report is expected to take a couple of weeks.

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