Tuesday's small plane crash in East Hartford, Conn., that killed a flight student and left an instructor with severe burns was the result of an intentional act, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday.
The FBI is taking over as lead agency in the investigation of the crash of the Piper PA-34 Seneca, when went down in its final approach to Hartford-Brainard airport. The plane hit a utility pole and then caught fire on East Hartford's Main Street.
The student pilot was identified as Feras Freitekh, according to a law enforcement official not permitted to speak publicly, the Associated Press reported. The instructor was identified as Arian Prevalla, 43. The unidentified official said that Freitekh and Prevalla may have been involved in an altercation over control of the aircraft; a motive wasn't specified.
The New York Times reported Freitekh was 28. According to WGN TV in Chicago, his last known address was in Orland Hills, Ill., in the Chicago area and he was a Jordanian national who came to the United States to attend flight school. A U.S. official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that the crash appeared to have been a case of suicide.
The website of the American Flight Academy lists Prevalla as its owner and indicates Prevalla is from Albania but now lives in Hartford.
Prevalla is expected to survive, police said.
The medical examiner was expected to perform an autopsy on Freitekh.