The on Saturday afternoon had been flying to Montauk for what airport officials here called a routine trip.
Pilot Keith Weiner, 63, Lisa Weiner, 51, their daughter Isabel Weiner, 14, and her friend Lucy Walsh, 14, were headed about 100 miles east over the Long Island Sound for the when their single-engine propeller crashed.
Airport manager Helen Gil and assistant manager Rudy Weisse knew the Weiner family for nearly 13 years, as they frequented the East End and flew into Montauk often. They were still reeling from the shock of the tragedy on Sunday.
"When I heard the tail number from the officer I knew immediately who it was," Gil said of finding out that plane coming into Montauk had crashed. "When I heard there were four fatalities my heart just sank because I've known them for a long time. I don't want to hear of any accident, but things happen…it's hard when you know the people."
The family lived in Manhattan, but kept their plane in Westchester, according to the managers.
Keith flew into Montauk so often that a picture of the Cessna 210 he flew hangs among the many other photos of aircrafts in the office. The Weiners loved Montauk and had been on a first name basis with the managers since Isabel was a toddler, Gil said.
The airport officials remembered Keith as a competent and prepared pilot with many years of experience.
Weiner was diligent and thorough, always making sure to go through the proper checks and inspections, Gil said.
Only a few hours before the crash Keith and Weisse spoke on the phone, as he made preparations for another routine trip to the East End.
"He called me from Westchester Airport in the morning, asking how the weather was," Weisse said. The weather was optimal. Keith told Weisse, he said, "'We'll be in later."
Weisse said he believes the plane must have succumbed from a catastrophic malfunction. "You could sit here and quarterback it all day long," Weisse said. He's hopefull the FAA investigation will yield answers.
Still, the two managers find it difficult to make sense of it all. When speaking of the family Gil unconsciously slips and refers to Keith in the present tense, as if she still expects to see his plane poking out of the sunlight, heading for the runway over the horizon.