HomeOutdoorsNewsPilot Sends Heartbreaking Message to His Family Moments Before Fatal Plane Crash

Pilot Sends Heartbreaking Message to His Family Moments Before Fatal Plane Crash

by Caitlin Berard
Small Plane Crash
(Photo by Don Kelsen/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

When two men flying a small plane in a rural area of New York realized they were crashing and likely wouldn’t survive, one spent his final moments sending a heartbreaking message of love to his wife and children.

Pilot Boruch Taub was flying with his friend, experienced pilot Ben Chafetz, home from a New York funeral when the disastrous event occurred. The men were traveling in an A36 Beechcraft Bonanza, a single-engine plane, from JFK Airport to Cuyahoga County Airport in Richmond Heights, Ohio, per officials.

As the pair flew back to their shared hometown of Cleveland, unexpected mechanical issues arose. Just before 5:30 pm, Taub reported low oil pressure. A few moments later, he added that they were experiencing engine problems, the plane a mere mile from Westchester County Airport.

“We are losing oil pressure, this is an emergency,” Taub said over the radio in a distress call to air traffic control. As the plane abruptly began losing altitude, the men’s concern turned to panic, and Taub sent maydays to the nearby airport, fearing an imminent crash.

“Do you have engine power right now? Are you able to maintain altitude?” an air traffic controller asked Taub.

“No, the engine is overriding… Mayday, mayday, mayday,” the pilot said in response.

Pilot’s Last Message to His Family Before Tragic Plane Crash

Within minutes, the airport lost contact with Taub. Just 30 minutes after take-off from the NYC airport, the plane crashed into a heavily wooded area less than two miles from the airport. Taub had attempted to make an emergency landing among the trees and surrounding water. Sadly, however, the attempt failed.

Emergency crews immediately launched an investigation into the plane’s disappearance. Unfortunately, however, the drones with which they would normally conduct such a search were unusable in this incident, forcing crews to carry out the search on foot. Due to the lack of tools, crews searched for five hours in the dark, the harsh weather slowing them even more, before finally finding the plane crash.

Crews found the plane in a tree, the bodies of Boruch Taub and Ben Chafetz lying on the ground nearby. Searching the plane, crews retrieved both men’s cell phones, at which point they discovered Chafetz’s heartbreaking last words to his family.

At 5:27 p.m., Chafetz texted “I love you and the kids. I am sorry for everything I have done…We lost engines.”

Less than a minute later, the plane crashed.

“I don’t think any of us want to contemplate what it would be like to know your life is about to end, and you are going to speak to the people you love the most. And try to say something to them to summarize the life you’ve had together. That is what last night was about,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said in a news conference.