Former Obama admin White House employee dies in private jet turbulence

 March 8, 2023

Authorities announced Monday that a White House employee from Barack Obama's presidency died on Friday in a private jet while returning to Maryland due to severe turbulence. 

Dana Hyde, who worked as an assistant director for the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration, was traveling back from New England with her husband and kid when the plane experienced turbulence, according to The Washington Examiner.

Before joining the White House, Hyde worked as a senior policy advisor for the State Department.

Crash Details

The Bombardier CL30 airplane took off from Keene, New Hampshire's Dillant-Hopkins Airport and made a detour to Windsor Locks, Connecticut's Bradley International Airport, at four o'clock on Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration stated that "extreme turbulence" caused the airliner to reroute.

Hyde was transferred to a hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, where she was declared dead from blunt force injuries.

Others were hurt, but she was the only one who died. At the time, Hyde's husband, son, and two crew members were all present on board.

The turbulence and a trim problem that occurred prior to the turbulence are both under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

After trim issues were discovered in this model of aircraft last year, the FAA advised pilots to take additional pre-flight precautions, according to The Associated Press. 

Government Response

The NTSB tweeted on Monday, "Investigators are now looking into a reported trim problem that occurred prior to the inflight upset. After examining data from the flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder, and other information sources, such as meteorological data, "they will continue to learn more.”

In an email to his firm Conexon, which owned the airplane, Hyde's husband Jonathan Chambers announced that her burial will be held in Israel, a country she dearly loved. Chambers is an organization partner.

“Dana was the best person I ever knew,” Chambers wrote in the email. “She was a wonderful mother to our boys and she was accomplished professionally. She loved and was beloved.”

It is not common for presidents of the United States to attend the funerals of staffers after they leave office. While presidents may offer condolences or make statements about the passing of former staffers, attending funerals is typically reserved for current or former high-ranking government officials, family members, or close friends of the president.

However, there have been exceptions to this tradition, such as when former President Barack Obama attended the funeral of his former White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer's father, in 2015. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the individual president whether or not they attend the funeral of a former staffer.

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