Thirteen minutes later

After reporting icy conditions, New York pilots never heard from again


At 1:20 p.m. Sept. 15, pilots of a small, single-engine plane heading from Utah to Nebraska radioed the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center to report icy conditions at 14,000 feet.

Thirteen minutes later, radar and voice communications with the plane were lost.

The two pilots were never heard from again.

One hour and seven minutes later, wreckage from the plane -- spread across a two-mile area in Colorado and Wyoming -- was found by search and rescue teams.

These are a few of the findings released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday in its preliminary report about the plane crash that killed two New York men earlier this month.

The plane crash, which claimed the lives of the two pilots on board, renowned businessmen Sergio Savarese, 48, and Ivan Luini, 46, occurred in western Moffat County, near the Wyoming border, about 50 miles northwest of Maybell.

The preliminary report, released nearly a week after NTSB investigators said it would be, reveals a narrative of facts, conditions and circumstances surrounding the accident. It does not make a clear statement about the cause of the crash.

The closest official weather observation station, located 50 miles north of the accident site in Rock Springs, Wyo., reported strong winds around the time of the accident. Investigators have said they think inclement weather played a role in the crash.

An examination of the plane last week revealed that its engine had no problems or abnormalities, investigator Jennifer Kaiser said. The NTSB has yet to release findings from a review of the body of the aircraft and associated systems, such as instrument panels, flight controls and displays.

Kaiser was not available for comment Tuesday.

Minutes before the crash, one of the plane's pilots asked air traffic controllers whether he could change the plane's altitude. After receiving permission, the pilot was assigned an altitude of 11,000 feet, according to the preliminary report.

A final report will be completed in about nine months, the NTSB reported. Before certifying the cause of the accident, the report must be signed by a supervisor and a five-member review board in Washington, D.C.

According to obituaries published Sept. 18 in The New York Times, Savarese and Luini were close friends and avid pilots.

Savarese was a prominent designer and founder of the furniture store Dialogica. Luini was the president of Kartell U.S., a subsidiary of the Milan furniture manufacturer Kartell s.p.a., and helped develop stores in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles, according to the Times' obit.

The two men were flying cross country on a business trip to visit stores, according to the obituary.

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