NEW BEDFORD -- The Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday that it has restored some runway approach lights at New Bedford Regional Airport that were off when a private plane crashed last week attempting to land, killing three people.
Peter Karoly, 53, and his wife, Dr. Lauren Angstadt, 54, of Bethlehem, Pa., along with pilot Michael Milot were killed Friday. Karoly's brother, John , said the lack of the auxiliary lights might have been a factor.
The lights that were turned back on at 5 p.m. yesterday help illuminate the center line of the runway for pilots , FAA spokesman Jim Peters said. Extra lights off the edges of the runway still need to be restored, he said.
Those lights had been off since August because they were obscured by overgrown brush. New Bedford officials had crews clearing an area around the auxiliary lights this week.
The plane, a six-seat Socata TBM-700, missed its first approach while trying to make an instruments-only landing in foggy weather, and crashed on the second approach, the FAA said.
Peters has said that the runway was safe and that lights that line the edges of the runway, as well as lights that run down the center, were on at the time of the crash.
He said pilots were notified in a "notice to airmen" that the additional approach lights, located in the center of the runway and about 40 feet off both edges, were not in service.
Earlier this month, the city of New Bedford asked the FAA to turn the lights back on, and had obtained an emergency permit from the local conservation commission to clear the foliage because the runway is on protected wetlands, Peters said.