NTSB crews investigate cause of crash that killed Dr. Richard Rockefeller in Purchase

Pilot Richard Rockefeller was killed when his plane crashed minutes after taking off from the Westchester County Airport Friday morning. The single-engine plane went down in a wooded residential area on Cottage Avenue. (6/14/14)

PURCHASE - Crews from the National Transportation Safety Board returned to the scene of the plane crash in Purchase that killed a member of the Rockefeller family.

Pilot Richard Rockefeller was killed when his plane crashed minutes after taking off from the Westchester County Airport Friday morning. The single-engine plane went down in a wooded residential area on Cottage Avenue.

Officials say conditions were not ideal for flying at the time of Rockefeller's crash. They say there was only a quarter-mile visibility when the control tower lost contact with him.

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Wreckage from Rockefeller's plane was discovered at the edge of a property, near the SUNY Purchase campus. Officials say the small Piper Meridian plane struck several trees before coming to a rest.

Rockefeller, the sole occupant, was killed in the crash. He was the great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, and was a seasoned pilot.

The doctor was returning home from his father's 99th birthday.

NTSB crews are searching for the cause of the crash. Investigators say they will be at the crash site for a week, and it will likely take a year to complete a report on the incident.

Rockefeller practiced and taught medicine in Maine, and was active in several health nonprofits.

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