SoCal CEO, Son ID'd in "Unsurvivable" Santa Monica Airport Crash

Crews plan to lift a collapsed hangar from a plane that crashed and burned Sunday at Santa Monica Airport

By Jonathan Lloyd and Toni Guinyard
|  Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013  |  Updated 7:32 AM PDT
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Mark Benjamin and his son Lucas were victims in a small plane crash at Santa Monica Airport on Sunday night. Friends remain in shock of their sudden passing while photos Lucas posted on social network sites remind them of their love of private jet journeys. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2013.

Gordon Tokumatsu

Mark Benjamin and his son Lucas were victims in a small plane crash at Santa Monica Airport on Sunday night. Friends remain in shock of their sudden passing while photos Lucas posted on social network sites remind them of their love of private jet journeys. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2013.

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Crews Work to Reach Wreckage From Plane Crash at Santa Monica Airport

Workers will work through the night on Monday to try and reach the charred wreckage of a business jet that crashed at the Santa Monica Airport on Sunday. The jet was returning to Santa Monica from Idaho when it crashed and slid into a hanger on the field. Patrick Healy reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2013.

Private Jet Crashes, Burns at Santa Monica Airport

A small business jet airplane crashed into a hangar and burned after landing at Santa Monica Airport on Sunday night, sending a dark plume of smoke into the air, authorities said. Kate Larsen reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Sept. 29, 2013.
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A Southern California construction company's CEO and his son were aboard a plane that burned Sunday in what authorities described as an "unsurvivable" crash at Santa Monica Airport, according to a statement from the firm.

Updated Article: 4 Bodies Removed From Crash Wreckage

The statement from Morely Builders identified two people aboard the small plane as CEO Mark Benjamin and his son, Luke Benjamin, a senior project engineer with the Santa Monica-based company.

"We are aware of a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport last night," according to the statement. "While we do not have specific facts, we believe that our President and CEO, Mark Benjamin, and his son, Luke Benjamin, a Senior Project Engineer with us, were on board."

The Morley Construction statement did not indicated whether there were other occupants in the twin-engine Cessna Citation. The coroner's office has not identified the victims and authorities have not determined how many people were aboard the plane.

An NTSB official said Monday afternoon the agency has not been in contact with the company.

"We have not identified or recovered any victims," said Van McKenny, of the NTSB.

NTSB officials said there is "an indication" the plane had a cockpit voice recorder. The pilot did not indicate there was a problem with the plane and authorities cannot confirm that the landing gear's tire was damaged during the landing, NTSB officials said.

"There was no communication with the pilot indicating there was a problem at any time during the flight," McKenny said.

The plane veered off the runway and crashed at the airport, located in a densely populated neighborhood about two miles from the Pacific Ocean, at about 6:20 p.m. Sunday. The plane, which departed from Hailey, Idaho, slammed into a metal storage hangar, which then collapsed around the burning wreckage.

Crews planned to use a crane Monday to lift the roof of the hangar, allowing investigators to access the plane. The crane was not expected to arrive until about 3 p.m.

A National Transportation Safety Board member official said crews are still in "recovery mode."

The airport runway remained closed Monday morning.

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