UPPER EAST Side — The Greenhill & Co. banker killed with his family in tragic plane crash in New Jersey last week was given clearance to climb to a higher elevation because of icing conditions just before he plunged to the ground, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Jeffrey Buckalew — who was flying with his coworker, wife and two children — was flying at 17,000 feet when he reported icing conditions to air traffic control, the report said.
He then requested clearance to climb and was given the go-ahead, making it up to 17,900 feet before he started to descend.
The tower lost radio and radar contact with him at about 1,000 feet.
The plane crashed onto a wooded median on Interstate 287, about one mile south of Morristown, NJ.
Several parts of the plane ended up in a wooded area east of the northbound lane, the report added.
Buckalew, who had 1,400 hours of flight experience, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for single-engine planes and flying planes using the instruments alone, the report said.
Investigators said the plane was last inspected on July 27, 2011. The last logbook entry for the craft was on Nov. 18, when it had logged a total of 724.6 hours of flying time.