The pilot of a private jet warned air traffic controllers that his plane was “going off the end” of a runway before it crashed, killing him and three others and injuring celebrity DJ AM and former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.
His words are the last captured on newly released cockpit recordings from the Sept. 19 crash, which severely burned Barker and DJ AM, a celebrity disc jockey whose real name is Adam Goldstein. Both are expected to recover.
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Controllers at the Columbia, S.C., airport can also be heard on the eerie recordings scrambling to divert other planes and summon emergency personnel after the jet shot off the runway, ripped through a fence and came to rest in flames.
Those killed included the two pilots and two of the musicians’ close friends.
“Roll the equipment, we’re going off the end,” co-pilot James Bland says on the recordings, released Tuesday.
“We’ve had an emergency, just fly straight ahead,” a controller tells another pilot, who changed course to land at another local airport. Flying over the blaze, the pilot reported back to the tower: “We see it down there. It doesn’t look good.”
Aviation authorities have said cockpit recordings showed the jet’s crew thought a tire had blown before takeoff, but those sounds were not in the files released Tuesday. National Transportation Safety Board officials have said pieces of tire were recovered about 2,800 feet from where the plane started its takeoff down the 8,600-foot runway.
Last month, NTSB said the plane was traveling at a speed of 156 mph just before the pilots tried to abort the takeoff. The preliminary report also indicated there was very little rubber left on the jet’s wheels, and the brakes were severely damaged when the plane crashed.
Some aviation experts told The Associated Press the pilots should have lifted off the runway and tried to burn off fuel rather than try to stop.
Barker and Goldstein had performed together under the name TRVSDJ-AM at a free concert in Columbia the night of the crash. The jet, which was headed for Van Nuys, Calif., is owned by Global Exec Aviation, a California-based charter company, and was certified to operate last year.
Company officials have said they are cooperating with the investigation into the crash.