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Photos by Fritz Rethage -- First post @ 11:00 a.m. on February 2, 2005
Teterboro Air Crash
February 2, 2005
[First Reports][Second report @ 12:54 p.m.][The Record, February 3]
Fire Department Responds to Crash]
The twin-engine Canadair, Challenger 600 skidded off the runway, through the fence, across
Route 46 striking several cars before crashing into Strawberry clothing warehouse.
Route 46 was shut down. View from Huyler Street/ Fred Wehran
Drive and Route 46
DOT webcam -- Route 46 eastbound at Green Street at 1:38 p.m.
Extensive Television News Coverage
Source: The Record, February 3, 2005
Federal investigators were
preparing late Wednesday to examine the voice and data recorders from a charred jet that
hurtled off a runway at Teterboro Airport, skidded across a highway and slammed into a
warehouse during the morning rush, injuring 20 people, 11 of them on the plane.
Route 46 was reopened about 10:45
p.m., despite earlier warnings that the highway would be closed for days. Takeoffs and
landings resumed about 6:45 p.m., nearly 12 hours after the Challenger CL-600, bound for
Midway Airport in Chicago, skidded into the brick warehouse.
Five people remained
hospitalized, one of them gravely injured.
James Dinnall, a 66-year-old
Paterson man who was riding in a car that was struck by the jet, suffered head injuries
and was on life-support equipment at Hackensack University Medical Center, authorities
It was mere coincidence - the
early hour, a red traffic signal - that thwarted a full-scale disaster.
The accident occurred at 7:20
a.m. A moment later, and the intersection would have been swarming with commuter traffic.
Forty-five minutes later, and classes would have been in session at a nearby high school.
An hour, and the warehouse would have been filled with 200 workers.
As the jet slid across Route 46,
a line of 20 to 30 westbound vehicles was stopped by a red light at Huyler Street.
"If that light had been
green, who knows how many cars might have been in the path of the plane - including
mine," said Jeffrey Gross of Little Ferry, whose car was at the head of the line.
"Thank God that light was red. Honestly, I think I would have been in it. You're
talking a three-second drive from the light."
At the warehouse, occupied by a
clothing distributor called Strawberry, company officials said all its employees were
"An hour later, everybody
would have been there," said plant manager Tommy Ficarra of West Paterson.
Officials said the cause of the
crash would not be known for months. Investigators were examining a trail of destruction
that included 1,000 feet of skid marks, a flattened fence, a path across six lanes of
Route 46, two twisted cars on the highway and others in a parking lot, a massive gouge in
the warehouse wall and a mangled and burned aircraft.
"It appears that the
aircraft was involved in a takeoff, and that was aborted," said Debbie Hersman, a
spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board.
NTSB officials declined to
speculate on whether ice had formed on the wings in the 22-degree cold. Such icing has
contributed to crashes of other CL-600s and similar models, manufactured by Bombardier of
Investigators interviewed two
linemen with Atlantic Aviation, who each said no frost was visible on the plane. One
pilot, who had parked alongside the jet that crashed, told investigators there was no ice
on his aircraft. No de-icing requests were made Wednesday morning for any planes at the
airport, NTSB officials said.
Live video footage - of the
burning plane, the traffic backups on Route 46 and interviews with witnesses and
investigators - was broadcast on the major networks and cable news programs well into the
Also at Hackensack University
Medical Center late Wednesday were the co-pilot, who underwent surgery for leg injuries,
and the pilot and a passenger, who suffered unspecified injuries. At Holy Name Hospital in
Teaneck, 35-year-old Rohan Foster of Paterson - the driver of a Toyota that was destroyed
- was being treated for a broken nose and undergoing further tests.
The rest of the victims -
including seven passengers, five firefighters and two bystanders - were discharged from
the hospitals. They suffered from cuts, bruises and inhaled jet-fuel fumes, officials
In all, the plane carried 11
people: the pilots, a flight attendant and eight passengers. Five of those passengers were
employees of Kelso & Co., a private-equity investment firm with offices at 320 Park
Ave. in Manhattan, and three were business associates, company officials said.
The registered owner of the plane
was 448 Alliance LLC of Dallas, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation
Administration. The aircraft was listed among the inventory operated by Darby Aviation of
Sheffield, Ala., and it also was operated by Platinum Jet of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he
The pilot was identified as John
Kimberling, 58, and the co-pilot as Carlos Winston Salaverria, both of Florida. Kelso
officials declined to name anyone aboard, but some employees and their families, reached
at home, said none of the injuries was serious.
A woman who answered the phone at
the home of a Kelso partner, David I. Wahrhaftig, said he had been on the flight.
"He's doing fine," she
"Everyone who was on the
plane is OK," said Kelso employee Irvin K. Culpepper Jr. of Stamford, Conn. He was
not on the flight.
NTSB officials said the voice
recorder was recovered - free of burns and other damage - at 3 p.m. and sent to
Washington, D.C., where it would be analyzed.
"Hopefully there will be
data, and it will give us some information about what happened," Hersman said.
The flight-data recorder was
found several hours later, and it, too, was taken to Washington.
By 5 p.m. investigators were
studying the aircraft - its front third still wedged into the warehouse occupied by a
clothing distributor, where it came to rest. Among them were employees of the NTSB and
FAA, Bombardier, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Honeywell, which built the
jet's twin engines.
The investigators were working
The aircraft "still has a
significant amount of fuel in it," Hersman said, adding that the warehouse had to be
The drama began about 7:20 a.m.
The jet was hurtling northeast on Runway 6, a 6,000-foot stretch of tarmac. But the plane
didn't appear to leave the ground, witnesses said, and it skidded for 1,000 feet, crossed
a patch of grass, flattened a security fence and sliced into the eastbound lanes of Route
46. It continued across the highway, striking two cars, sliding across a parking lot,
destroying two cars and crashing into the warehouse occupied by Strawberry, a clothing
"It sounded like a
Dumpster," said Strawberry benefits administrator Carmen Torres.
The plane crashed into the
"sign shop," where displays are fabricated for the company's stores. Dave
Daniel, vice president of distribution, was in an office about 40 feet from where the
plane came to a rest.
"The whole building felt
like it was shaking for like four or five seconds," Daniel said. "I ran outside
the office and I saw a plane in flames."
Outside, several motorists and
Port Authority employees sprinted to Foster's crushed Toyota Camry and to the burning
wreckage. They described dazed passengers running from the plane and the stench of jet
"It had hit two cars on
46," said Leonard Spano, an employee of the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, which operates the airport. "It took the roof off of one car, and I got the
driver out. He was injured, but not fatally."
Spano ran to the highway, then to
"The plane was about a third
of the way into the building," he said. "I saw the pilot and the co-pilot get
out - the co-pilot had a broken leg. I saw eight people, all men, and they all got
The pilot was the last to
"stumble out," Spano said.
A sea of rescue vehicles soon
flooded a stretch of Route 46 between Industrial Avenue and Huyler. Surrounded by a
whitish smoke, dozens of firefighters from numerous departments worked to contain the
"As I was approaching the
scene, I saw the plume of dark smoke, so I knew we had a problem," said Assistant
Hasbrouck Heights Fire Chief Angelo Roccamo.
Rescue crews sent from Newark by
the Port Authority used a special hose nozzle to punch through the skin of the aircraft
and spray fire-suppressing foam.
The passengers and crew were
taken to a triage center in the gymnasium of Bergen Technical High School, adjacent to the
warehouse. Shortly after 10 a.m., a man dressed in what appeared to be pilot's uniform
emerged from the gym and walked into an ambulance.
Once at the hospitals, many of
the passengers underwent decontamination for jet-fuel exposure. They were directed to
heated tents, where they were showered and given hospital gowns to wear.
Around noon, investigators from
the NTSB could be seen unloading gear inside a hangar. Rescue workers had begun to
"preserve the scene," said Port Authority Executive Director Ken Ringler.
"Many questions will be
unanswered today," he remarked.
Staff Writers Scott Fallon,
Andrew Glazer, Brian Kladko, Yung Kim, Amy Klein, Alex Nussbaum, Carolyn Salazar, Daniel
Sforza and Lindy Washburn contributed to this article.
Source: The Record, February 3, 2005
Small jet runs off runway, hits building near NJ airport;
no one killed but about 15 hurt
By WAYNE PARRY, The Associated
Press, 2/2/2005, 12:54 p.m. ET
TETERBORO, N.J. (AP) A corporate jet hurtled off the end of an airport runway
Wednesday while attempting to take off, speeding across a highway and striking two cars
before slamming into a warehouse. About 15 people were injured, one critically, but nobody
was killed, officials said.
The injured included at least two people in the cars, officials said.
Eleven people were on the plane;
the most seriously injured was the pilot, who suffered a broken leg, said officials, who
did not disclose the identities of the passengers or crew.
"I think everybody at this
point is extremely lucky and fortunate," said acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.
One witness said a pilot crawled
out of the wreckage and told him the crew lost control of the plane.
It was headed for Midway Airport
in Chicago when the accident happened around 7:20 a.m., said Greg Martin, a spokesman for
the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington. A National Transportation Safety Board
team was dispatched to the site.
Authorities initially said there
were 14 people on the plane but later said there were 11. They gave no information on what
company or group had chartered the jet.
One witness said the plane never
made it off the ground after "sliding and skidding" down the runway.
"Usually we see them lift
off, but this one just went straight and started scratching the ground. There were sparks
shooting out all over the place," said Joseph Massaro, a psychologist who lives
Christopher Trucillo, chief of
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said rescue crews were unsure whether the
inside of the plane was on fire when they arrived, and they used a special hose nozzle to
punch through the skin of the aircraft and spray fire-suppressing foam inside.
Video from television station
helicopters showed wheel tracks, plainly visible in snow, that ran straight off the end of
the runway, through a fence and a snow bank and then across six-lane U.S. 46.
Witness Robert Sosa told WNBC-TV
he saw the plane crash into the building.
"The pilot said he dragged
himself out," Sosa said. "He literally crawled out like a baby, and all the
other people just walked out normal."
"He said as they tried to
airborne ... they just lost control," Sosa said.
Martin said communication between
the air traffic control and the aircraft was routine. The weather was clear and wind was
calm, with temperatures in the low 20s.
Martin identified the aircraft as
a twin-engine Canadair Challenger 600, "a type of small regional business/charter
jet" that can carry 12 to 15 passengers.
A similar plane, a Canadair
CL-601 Challenger, crashed in December in Colorado while trying to take off, killing a son
of NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol and two others. After that crash, the NTSB warned
pilots of smaller planes to run their hands along their aircraft's wings before takeoff to
make sure ice hadn't formed.
The registered owner is 448
Alliance LLC of Dallas, and is listed among the inventory of aircraft operated by Darby
Aviation, of Sheffield, Ala., FAA spokesman Jim Peters said. The jet is also operated by
Platinum Jet of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he said. "That's perfectly legal," Peters
A message seeking comment at
Darby Aviation was not immediately returned, while a person at Platinum Jet said no one
was available to speak.
At the warehouse, owned by
clothing company Strawberry, employee Luis Ruiz said only a few workers were inside when
the plane hit. One was injured, he said.
Dr. Joseph Feldman of Hackensack
University Medical Center said 12 people, including the pilot and copilot, were taken
there and three were admitted, one a person who had been in a car in
critical condition. Most of them needed to be showered to remove jet fuel, Feldman said.
Two people, a flight attendant
and a man who had been in a car, were taken to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, said
spokeswoman Katherine Kakogiannis. The flight attendant had minor injuries; she didn't
know the condition of the other person.
The airport, 12 miles from
midtown Manhattan, was closed after the crash.
Teterboro has grown into one of
the nation's busiest small airports, catering to corporate jets. It had 202,720 arrivals
and departures in 2004, a 4 percent increase from 2003, officials said. ###
Source www.nj.com @ 10:15 a.m.
Jet Goes Down At Teterboro
A jet on takeoff at Teterboro airport skidded
off the runway, across Route 46 hitting two cars and into the Strawberry clothing
warehouse at about 7:20 this morning. The plane was carrying 12 passengers and two crew
members. WCBS radio says local hospitals have admitted seven people injured in the crash.
Route 46 between Green Street and Huyler Street in the area of the airport has been
closed. The crash and emergency response is causing serious traffic tie-ups in the area.
Teterboro airport is also closed.
The plane is a 19-seat corporate jet, a Canadair, Challenger 600. The radio station
reports that the plane that crashed was bound for Midway airport in Chicago and was
registered to a charter company in Dallas.
The Port Authority Web site has some information about Teterboro airport and this site
offers a way to track air traffic at Teterboro.
Here is the Associated Press report.
Plane crashes at Teterboro Airport
By WAYNE PARRY
The Associated Press
TETERBORO A small jet skidded off the runway while taking off from Teterboro
Airport on Wednesday, crossing a highway and striking cars during the morning rush hour
before slamming into a warehouse.
State police said two people were missing and 11 were injured in the crash. It was not
immediately clear whether all those people were on the plane.
A traffic helicopter pilot for New York radio station WCBS said the plane went off the
runway and broke through a fence. It appeared to strike at least one car.
Television reports showed smoke billowing from the building and skid marks leading to the
State Police Trooper Stephen Jones said emergency management crews at the warehouse were
conducting "a rescue operation."
"You act on that assumption until you know otherwise," he said.
He said injured people were being taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, but did
not know the extent of their injuries. A spokeswoman said she had no information
Greg Martin, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C., said
that according to "very early, preliminary information" the plane was departing
Runway 6, at approximately 7:20 a.m. when it ran off the 6,000-foot runway, went through a
fence and across Route 46 where it struck some cars and finally the warehouse.
He said there were no early reports of fatalities.
The plane was headed for Midway Airport in Chicago, Martin said, and early reports
indicate that 12 passengers were on board.
Martin said communication between the air traffic control and the aircraft was routine,
and that the aircraft had been cleared for takeoff.
Martin described the aircraft as a twin-engine Canadair, Challenger 600, "a type of
small regional business/charter jet," which can carry 12 to 15 passengers.
He said the building that was struck has been described as a clothing warehouse, and that
there were no injuries there.
He said according to early reports the charter company was based in Dallas.
One witness to the crash said the plane never made it off the ground after "sliding
and skidding" down the runway.
"Usually we see them lift off, but this one just went straight and started scratching
the ground. There were sparks shooting out all over the place," said Joseph Massaro,
a psychologist who lives nearby.
"It was so scary. Everything was flying apart. There was a big hole in the building
and I heard screaming and yelling," Massaro said.
Route 46 closed in both directions and broadcast reports said the airport, in the northern
New Jersey suburbs 12 miles from midtown Manhattan, was closed.
Once considered a destination for weekend recreational fliers, Teterboro has grown into
one of the nation's busiest small airports, catering to corporate jets looking to avoid
the hassles and delays of larger airports.####
Source www.nj.com @ 10:15 a.m.
Source: WABC New York @ 10:00 a.m.
One Dead, 11 Hurt, 2 Missing
after Jet Crashes on Takeoff from Teterboro
(New York -WABC, February 2, 2005 ) A jet plane missed the runway at Teterboro Airport and crashed into
a warehouse across from Route 46 on Wednesday morning. Eyewitness News is told that 11
people were hurt in the crash and two are missing.
Metro Traffic's John Delgiorno says the plane was a twin-engine Canadair, Challenger 600,
a type of small regional business/charter jet that carries 12 to 15 passengers. Eyewitness
News is told 12 passengers were on board.
A female flight attendant and a man in a car on the ground were taken to Holy Name
Hospital in Teaneck. Other victims were taken to Hackensack Medical Center, their
conditions were not immediately known.
One witness said the pilot crawled out of the wreckage and said
the crew lost control of the plane. Witness Robert Sosa said he saw the plane crash into
"Two guys came off with their hand cuts," Sosa said. "The pilot said he
dragged himself out. He literally crawled out like a baby, and all the other people just
walked out normal. He said as they tried to airborne before five minutes past (7 a.m.),
they just lost control and they couldn't airborne the plane. They went straight through,
100 miles per hour," Sosa said.
At least one car could be seen in pieces on the road and flames could be seen inside
The accident set at least one building on fire, and is said to have caused several
accidents. Route 46 is shut down. Heavy traffic is expected to build on several routes,
including 17 and 80. The building that was struck has been described as a clothing
warehouse, and that there were no injuries there.
Other witnesses described a chaotic scene. "Usually we see them lift off, but this
one just went straight and started scratching the ground. There were sparks shooting out
all over the place," said Joseph Massaro, a psychologist who lives nearby. "It
was so scary. Everything was flying apart. There was a big hole in the building and I
heard screaming and yelling," Massaro said.
Just before 10:00 a.m. a state police spokesperson said everyone on board the plane had
been accounted for.
The plane is said to have been registered in Dallas, Texas to a company called 448
Alliance, LLC - a property tax consulting firm. Eyewitness News is told it was en route
from New York to Chicago's Midway Airport.
Teterboro Airport is one of the busiest small airports in the country, with over
200,000 flights each year.
FAA officials say their preliminary investigation is focusing on icing on the wings as
a possible cause. The plane is an older model of the same type of plane that crashed in
Aspen with Dick Ebersol on board. NTSB put out a notice to pilots a month or so ago
warning about the potential for icing problems.
Experts said communication between the air traffic control and the aircraft was routine
before this all happened, and that the aircraft had been cleared for takeoff. The National
Transportation Safety Board has a go-team en route to investigate the crash. ####
Teterboro Air Crash March 9, 2002
Hasbrouck Heights Air Crash December 9, 1999
Photos of Huyler
Street/ Fred Wehran Drive and Route 46 (May 17, 2003)