Aviation medical expert weighs in on East Hartford plane crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Aviation medical expert weighs in on East Hartford plane crash

Posted: Updated:
Feras Freitekh. (Facebook photo) Feras Freitekh. (Facebook photo)

Investigators say the plane crash in East Hartford was intentional, but the Associated Press is reporting that a source close to the investigation says it was a suicide. 

The plane crashed on Main Street in East Hartford on Tuesday afternoon, killing one person.

Michael Teiger's job as an Aviation Medical Examiner, is to make sure pilots are fit to fly.

"I have to declare on a form that I submit to the FAA for each pilot that I see that the airline people have their physicals every six months, general aviation, every two to five years, depending on their age and I have to determine that they are physically ok and make a general statement about their psychological status,” Teiger said.

He said the evaluation process could be better when it comes to mental health.

"It would be impossible for me to make a declaration after a 15 to 20 minute interview, but if I have a sense that something is out of whack, I would notify the FAA, give them a call and say, I’m concerned about this fellow, but you could imagine in that short amount of time, someone could get away with a lot,” Teiger said.

The mental stability of Feras Freitekh is a question that's being raised.

Investigators say the aviation student was in control of a small plane, when it crashed in East Hartford.

"In the general aviation community, it would be very difficult to do psychological profiling and do psychological testing, drug screening, it's just not done,” Teiger said.

Students like Freitekh log a lot of hours, trying to obtain a pilot's license.

  • More than 50 hours cross country (10 hours in airplanes)
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time.
  • Instrument approaches at each airport.
  • Three different approaches, are just a few of the requirements.

Freitekh’s instructor Arian Prevalla is hospitalized.

Teiger said there is a statement on the aviation medical form that says if applicants lie about any health issues, they could face five years in jail and a $50,000.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.