FAA releases air traffic recordings from night plane crashed into Lake Erie

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CLEVELAND--  Air traffic control recordings from the night a plane crashed on Lake Erie are providing further insight into what happened.

The Federal Aviation Administration released the recordings to FOX 8 News on Monday through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In the audio recorded from the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, you can hear controllers giving pilot John Fleming clearance to take off from Burke Lakefront Airport on Dec. 29. Moments later, the Cessna Citation 525 disappeared.

"Yeah, have you ever gotten a hold of that citation? Negative. OK, because all I saw when this happened was something come off, it looked like it flashed 3,000 triple Xs and turned northeast on about a mile northeast of the field at 1,300 and then disappeared on me."

The National Transportation Safety Board said the Cessna Citation suddenly lost altitude and crashed just one minute after takeoff.

Fleming, his wife, their two sons and their neighbors were all killed. Remains from three of the deceased, Fleming, 15-year-old Robert Fleming and 50-year-old Brian Casey, were recovered. The Fleming family was remembered during memorial services in Columbus and Canfield.

Plane debris, including the cockpit voice recorder, were later discovered. The NTSB said a committee in Washington is still analyzing the audio for the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Search and recovery efforts ended on Jan. 17. During the search, crews found the plane's engine, wings and a large portions of its fuselage.

Records show Fleming purchased the Cessna in mid-October.

More stories on the plane crash here

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