St. Louis man killed in Puerto Rico plane crash

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (KSDK) – A Florissant native was killed in a plane crash in Puerto Rico Monday night.

The family of 28-year-old Steve Gullberg says he was co-piloting the IBC Airways Metroliner III cargo jet when it crashed into a mountain in Puerto Rico.

Gullberg's family says Steve had called his father, a retired American Airlines pilot, in the past worried about his safety.

"He was saying that this airline has some serious problems maintaining their airplanes and he has some real questions about the safety of these airplanes," his brother Greg Gullberg said.

Gullberg and another pilot were the only people on board the aircraft and both lost their lives. The NTSB says they took off from the Dominican Republic and were about 25 miles from their destination, The San Juan International Airport, when they crashed.

A spokesman for IBC Airways told NewsChannel 5 there is no reason to assume mechanical error caused the crash and the company is awaiting the results of the NTSB's investigation.

IBC Airways is a charter carrier based out of Miami. The FAA told NewsChannel 5 that even though the plane took off from the Dominican Republic, the company still must adhere to FAA guidelines including a a pre-flight inspection of the plane.

Right now, there is no cause for the crash and the NTSB continues to investigate.

Gullberg grew up in Florissant and attended Hazelwood Central High School. His family says he always dreamed of being a pilot and following in his father's footsteps. The family says Steve pressed on at IBC Airways because he was newly employed and felt the job was a big break for him. Now, his family wants answers. The Gullbergs say they trust the NTSB and FAA and will be satisfied with the results of the investigation.

"If lives were put in jeopardy unnecessarily, at least if we can stop that from ever happening again then that would be enough," said Greg Gullberg.


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