The tragic midair crash over the Hudson River that killed nine people, including three men from Montgomery County, last Saturday was caught on a chilling home video. That video should help the National transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash.
The video, shot by a tourist aboard a boat on the Hudson and obtained exclusively by NBC News, captures the moments before and the stunning impact when small plane collided with a sightseeing helicopter shortly after noon that fateful day.
Inside that small plane were Steven, Daniel and Doug Altman of Ambler, Pa. Steven, 60, was piloting the single-engine Piper, which had just taken off from Teterboro Airport headed south for Ocean City, N.J. when the crash occurred. His brother Daniel, 48, and nephew Doug, 15, had joined him for the trip.
The Altmans, of Ambler, Pa., own several construction and real-estate management businesses with thousands of apartments in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, according to the Inquirer.
Following the crash, David Altman, the father and grandfather of the men, called the tragedy a "real heartbreak" for the close-knit family. Steven is survived by a wife, son and two daughters; Daniel, a wife and two sons.
The family asked for privacy as reporters requested comment on the new video Thursday evening. Funerals are being held Friday.
Meanwhile, the FAA has has suspended two air traffic controllers. In a statement, the agency said "we learned that the controller handling the Piper flight was involved in apparently inappropriate conversations on the telephone at the time of the accident. We also learned that the supervisor was not present in the building as required."
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The Daily News reported that the controller was talking to his girlfriend as the disaster took place.
The FAA said that they have "no reason to believe at this time that these actions contributed to the accident, this kind of conduct is unacceptable."
The two have been placed on disciplinary leave and disciplinary proceedings have begun, officials said.