Two Orthodox Jewish men from Cleveland, Ohio were tragically killed on Thursday night in a plane crash in Westchester, NY, The Yeshiva World News reported.
Boruch Taub, who was the pilot, and Binyamin Chafetz, both members of the Jewish community in Cleveland, were killed after the Beechcraft A36 they were flying in reported engine troubles and attempted an emergency landing.
Binyamin Chafetz’s last text message to his family members is chilling: “We lost our engines. I love you and the children, forgive me for everything I did, say Tehillim and ask the community to pray,” Chafetz wrote before the crash. He left behind his wife Smadar and their seven children.
Baruch Taub was the owner of Masterworks Automotive Company in Cleveland. Binyamin Chafetz was a technology entrepreneur. Both were known Baalei Chesed and donors to many charities.
Chafetz was a donor to the Chabad Center of Athens, Greece, after he was stranded with many passengers when an El Al Flight to Israel was diverted there for Shabbos, and was grateful for the Shluchim’s hospitality.
He later led a fundraising effort for the Chabad of Athens’ new Mikvah.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Beechcraft A36 being piloted by Boruch Taub reported engine troubles at about 5:25 pm local time when it was about one mile from the Westchester County Airport. A call was then made to report low oil pressure and an emergency was declared a few minutes later. A “MAYDAY” was heard over air traffic control minutes later, after which no contact was made with the aircraft.
The plane had departed from JFK Airport to Cuyahoga County Airport in Richmond Heights, Ohio and had diverted to Westchester County Airport to attempt an emergency landing, but sadly never made it there.
Search and rescue teams combed the area for hours, locating the wreckage just before 11:00 pm. Sources tell YWN that the plane was found in the trees on a small island on a reservoir just near Westchester County Airport.
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.