CHINO (CBSLA.com) — The search for answers continued Friday, a day after a small jet crashed into a hangar at Chino Airport.
Eric Sewell was standing in the lobby at Encore Jet Center Thursday evening when the plane crashed through the wall.
“We just heard this very loud boom which sounded like a bomb went off and just looking back down the hallway, you can just see the body of the plane inside the building,” he said.
The plane came to rest just steps from Sewell’s desk.
“It was probably about 20-feet, 30-feet away so we were pretty close to where it came through actually,” he said.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials say the crash happened during an engine test. Somehow, the plan jumped the chocks.
It’s possible the Bombardier Aero Space Challenger 601 aircraft burned too much fuel during the engine tests, making it light enough for an engine rev to push it over the chocks, airport officials said.
“So scary though. You don’t know what’s going on. It’s really very bad sound. A loud sound,” Georgette Louca, a witness, said.
Officials say the skid marks on the tarmac indicate that the brakes were on. They also showed that the plane was originally pointed at glass doors leading to the lobby but was somehow redirected.
“They said it sounded like a bomb went off or an earthquake. I know I had four employees in the front lobby,” said Encore Jet Manager Wendy Bechtel.
The plane is valued at $4 million, according to an Encore Jet Center employee who said it was recently sold.
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