Three people traveling from South Carolina to Connecticut were killed when the small plane they were in crashed on Long Island on Tuesday.
The tail number on the plane is registered to a Bristol, Connecticut resident.
Two men and a woman were on board the single-engine Beech BE35 aircraft when broke up mid-flight on Cold Spring Road in Syosset just after 2:30 p.m., the FAA said.
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The plane took off from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 12:45 p.m., and was headed to Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, according to the FAA.
During the flight, the pilot made a distress call over Farmingdale, New York, reporting some type of instrumentation problem -- something to the effect of, "'I have a partial panel loss,'" according to NTSB senior investigator Robert Gretz.
The plane then disappeared off the radar and broke up in flight, leaving behind a debris field of about two miles.
"Sometimes the higher up it breaks up, the larger the debris field," Gretz said.
Recordings between responding police officers and dispatch revealed the sheer amount of wreckage that was scattered on the ground.
Gretz said it's not clear why the plane broke apart in the sky.
"It's not a common investigation for us," Gretz said of the plane breaking apart in the sky. "It does happen. In 18 years, I've probably worked five or 10 of them."
Officials are looking at several factors in the crash, including whether the pilot was caught in bad weather. If the pilot didn't have functioning instrumentation in bad weather, it would be like driving through fog without lights or a dashboard, Gretz said.
Gretz said Nassau, New York police was assisting in the investigation by documenting each piece of plane debris.
A preliminary report is expected to be issued within five to 10 business days, and a final report, including a probable cause, will be issued in about nine to 12 months.
The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.