Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have yet to determine what caused the that killed four people Saturday afternoon.
Ralph Hicks, a senior air safety investigator at the NTSB, said in a press briefing on Sunday that the aircraft collided with trees when it was about 50 feet above the ground and burst into flames upon impact, with the resulting fire consuming the fuselage and cockpit.
Hicks said the on-scene investigation will probably be completed in two to three days.
"We're looking at the pilot, the aircraft, and the environment in which the aircraft was operating," Hicks said.
The pilot, 63-year-old Keith Weiner, was an experienced flight instructor, his father William told the Daily News.
Weiner, who lived in Manhattan, owned an art gallery on Roundhouse Road in Piermont called Gallerie CAVU, an aviation term for fair weather.
Also aboard the plane were his wife, Lisa Weiner, 51, their daughter Isabel Weiner, 14, and her friend, Lucy Walsh, also 14. They were headed for Montauk, on Long Island, a spot that the family frequently visited.
Hicks said the plane — a six-passenger Cessna T-210 — took off from Westchester County Airport about 1 p.m. and was in the air only a short time before Weiner radioed the tower that he had an emergency and needed to return to the airport.
Hicks said Weiner never identified any problem before the plane crashed about a mile north-northwest of the airport.
When it crashed, Hicks said, the landing gear was up and the flaps retracted. He said he has already completed a "flight control cable continuity" examination, which determined all of the cables were properly attached to the plane's control surfaces.
Hicks said he hadn't had time to review the recorded radar display of the plane's brief flight, and only had a single opportunity to listen to the radio traffic between plane and the airport tower.
The plane's maintenance records have yet to be located, Hicks said, and no one has been identified as a witness to the crash.
FAA records identify Wein-Air Aviation LTD of Wilmington, Delaware, as the plane's owner. It was housed at Panorama Air Services at Westchester County Airport.