The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Woman who died in CT after plane hit turbulence was a former White House official for Obama and Clinton
WINDSOR LOCKS — The woman who died in Connecticut after being fatally injured in an airplane that hit severe turbulence Friday was a prominent Washington-area lawyer who worked in the administrations of two presidents.
Dana Hyde, 55, of Cabin John, Md., served eight years in the Obama administration and before that worked in the Clinton administration, according to her biography with Columbia World Projects.
Hyde was one of five people on a business jet headed from Keene, N.H., to Leesburg, Va., when the incident happened, according to Sarah Taylor Sulick, spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board. The twin-engine Bombardier Challenger 300 ran into “severe turbulence” during the flight that resulted in fatal injuries to the passenger, Sulick said.
The plane diverted to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks and after an emergency landing, Hyde was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, where she later was pronounced dead, according to Connecticut State Police.
Hyde’s husband, Jonathan Chambers, said in an email to employees and clients of Conexon, the plane’s owners, that he, his wife and one of their sons were flying back from a trip to visit New England schools when “the plan suddenly convulsed in a manner that violently threw the three of us,” according to The Washington Post.
The NTSB is examining a reported problem with the airplane’s trim that happened before the plane was thrown around. Trim holds a plane’s movable parts, like the rudder, in a specific position, requiring less manual input on the part of the pilot, according to airplaneacademy.com.
A spokesperson from Conexon couldn’t be reached Tuesday.
Hyde had more than 25 years of experience in law, public policy and international development, according to her bio for Columbia World Projects, a program of Columbia University. She served eight years in the Obama administration as chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), associate director at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and senior advisor to the deputy secretary of state, the biography states.
Hyde also served as counsel to the 9/11 Commission and as special assistant to the deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration.
Turbulence, which is unstable air in the atmosphere, remains a cause for injury for airline passengers despite airline safety improvements over the years.
Earlier last week, seven people were hurt severely enough to be taken to hospitals after a Lufthansa Airbus A330 experienced turbulence while flying from Texas to Germany. The plane was diverted to Virginia’s Washington Dulles International Airport.
But deaths are extremely rare.
“I can’t remember the last fatality
due to turbulence,” said Robert Sumwalt, a former NTSB chair and executive director of the Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University.