Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beech G36 Bonanza, Sinbad Aviation Inc., N979BA: Accident occurred January 21, 2017 near Essex County Airport (KCDW), Caldwell, New Jersey

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Teterboro, New Jersey 
Continental Motors Group; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Sinbad Aviation Inc: 

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA092
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 21, 2017 in West Caldwell, NJ
Aircraft: HAWKER BEECHCRAFT CORP G36, registration: N979BA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 21, 2017, about 1245 eastern standard time, a Hawker Beechcraft G36, N979BA, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of engine power during initial climb from Essex County Airport (CDW), Caldwell, New Jersey. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an Instrument flight rules plan was filed for the flight, destined for Westchester County Airport (HPN), White Plains, New York. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Review of air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot taxied to Runway 22 at CDW. After a delay for inbound traffic and weather, the controller cleared the airplane for takeoff with a left turnout

Review of security camera video and photographs revealed that after taking off, the airplane turned left and continued climbing until it reached an approximate height of 100 feet above ground level, and then began to descend. The airplane then struck the roof of a warehouse with the left wing, impacted terrain in a nose low attitude while rotating to the left, then made contact with the ground with the belly of the airplane, and a large fire erupted.

The accident site was located approximately 0.5 miles from the departure end of Runway 22. Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the landing gear was down, the three bladed propeller separated from the engine during the impact sequence, and the majority of the airplane's cabin had been consumed by fire.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on June 16, 2016. He reported on that date, that he had accrued 1,430 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 2012. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on January 16, 2017. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 251.9 total hours of operation.

The wreckage was retained for further examination

WEST CALDWELL -- After sprinting through thorny, barely passable woods, the two men arrived out of breath to a smashed aircraft engulfed in flames and a pilot, burned and bleeding, lying near the tail.

Heron De Dios, 35, of Elmwood Park, and Scott Bauman, 50, of West Orange, had been teaching their regular softball clinic Saturday afternoon at a facility off Passaic Avenue when a small aircraft crashed into woods at around 12:45 p.m. just behind a row of homes in a residential neighborhood. Neighbors reported hearing a loud boom.

De Dios' 15-year-old daughter, Lianna -- who said she had seen the plane struggling to maintain altitude -- rushed inside to tell her father.

The plane -- a  Beech G36 Bonanza -- had crashed in the woods adjacent to Patton Drive, which is about a mile-and-a-half from the Essex County Airport, according to officials in a previous report.

De Dios and Bauman immediately rushed outside and darted through the woods to the crash site where they found the pilot lying in a contorted position near the tail of the plane. They said his leg appeared to be broken, his face and body severely burned, his mouth bloody, and what was left of his shirt was scorched from the flames.

"The back of his shirt was smoking, it was still burning, and we took that portion of the shirt off," De Dios recalled.

"I threw my sweatshirt on top of him," Bauman added, standing next to De Dios.

The two men recounted the story on Sunday near the crash site. De Dios' wife and two daughters tagged along.

Capt. David Black, of the West Essex First Aid Squad, which responded to the crash, confirmed that a group of bystanders was helping the pilot when the squad arrived and took over.

Despite the pilot's injuries, he was conscious and able to speak, the two men said.

"I kept saying 'We're going to get you out of here,'" Bauman recalled.

But, with flames continuing to roar nearby, De Dios worried about an explosion.

"I could feel the heat," De Dios said. "We moved him just a few yards, and at that point, I was still looking at the roaring flames, thinking we are still too close."

He added, "I asked him how much fuel was in the plane."

The pilot told him the fuel tank was full, De Dios said.

Then, De Dios said two other men who had been at the softball clinic arrived to assist. The group then quickly carried the pilot away from the burning aircraft to a safe distance.

Emergency personnel ultimately arrived and took over. The pilot was taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, however, the extent and seriousness of his injuries remains unclear, according to officials in a previous report.

Multiple requests for comment were not returned Sunday by St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Fairfield or West Caldwell police. The Essex County Sheriff's Office referred questions to West Caldwell police.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and the FAA is investigating, officials have said.

As the men recounted the ordeal Sunday afternoon -- this time at the entrance of a building on the other side of the crash site -- a black SUV pulled up alongside the group.

Driving the vehicle turned out to be West Caldwell Police Chief Gerard Paris, who began talking to the two men about the rescue. The chief gave the men his card, shook their hands and thanked them for their heroic deed.

Bauman later said that they didn't really think about it, they just reacted, and when they saw the pilot in agony, they did what they could to get him to safety.


Heron Dedios, Lianna Dedios and Scott Bauman in the woods near a plane crash site after the small plane crashed on Saturday in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Scott Bauman

Heron Dedios

Scott Bauman, Heron Dedios, and Lianna Dedios talk about the small plane that crashed on Saturday in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Leanna Dedios, Heron Dedios and Scott Bauman return to where a small plane crashed on Saturday in Fairfield, New Jersey


FAIRFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A small plane fell out of the sky in West Caldwell, New Jersey on Saturday, bursting into flames and narrowly missing homes in a highly-populated neighborhood.

The Beech Bonanza aircraft took off from Essex County Airport before crashing approximately one mile south around 12:45 p.m.

Judging by the flaming wreckage of the small plane, it’s amazing the pilot actually survived, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported.

The plane crashed in the woods behind a row of houses on Patton Road. Witnesses said they were stunned no one was killed.

“I heard a big boom and my wife hollered immediately, ‘there’s plane crash, there’s a fire,'” Bob Alviggi said.

The single-engine aircraft burst into flames 10 feet from his fence. Part of the plane even landed in his backyard.

“I’ve been here for almost 40 years and nothing like this has ever happened, and we’re concerned about it, but what can you do?” he said.

Alviggi saw a pair of good Samaritans come running through the woods to rescue the pilot.

“They pulled the guy out of the plane, and he supposedly went to the hospital. He has a broken leg and serious burns,” he said.

Those two men who risked their lives and ran toward the fiery debris were Michael Martino Jr. and his father, who’s a retired Newark fire captain.

“I really didn’t have time to think. My main concern at that point was whether or not the plane was going to explode, and were we close enough, and getting that guy out as far away as possible,” Martino Jr. told Conybeare in an exclusive interview.

“I yelled to him if someone else is in the plane, and he said there was no one there, but he had a broken leg,” his father said. “But we still picked him up and moved him into the safety zone.”

Thanks to them and three other men, the pilot survived and was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson.

The Martinos said they didn’t consider themselves heroes and wanted people to know there were three other men risking their lives right there with them.

“It makes me feel good that if something ever happened to me or my family, that there’s people in this area that would do the same thing that we did today,” the son said.

Firefighters arrived and quickly put out the flames, exposing what’s left of the plane, which apparently bounded off a building nearby as it came down.

“Hit the top of the building, clipped it, hit the parking lot, then wound up in the tree line in the embankment,” witness Mark Wells said. “Luckily for the building owners and for the pilot, it could have been a lot worse.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the cause of the crash.

Story and video:

WEST CALDWELL -- A pilot was injured when a small aircraft crashed in a residential neighborhood near the Essex County Airport Saturday afternoon, police said.

The plane crashed on Patton Drive in West Caldwell, which is about a mile-and-a-half from the airport, according to an officer with the Fairfield Police Department. 

Rick Breitenfeldt, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the plane is a Beech Bonanza and had one person on board. He said the incident occurred at 12:45 p.m. about a mile south of the Essex County Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and the FAA is investigating, Breitenfeldt said.

Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said the pilot, an adult male, suffered a broken leg and burns to his face and chest. The sheriff would not categorize the seriousness of the injuries.

The pilot was taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, Fontoura said.

An operator at the Essex County Airport said he did not see the crash but could  see smoke and emergency response vehicles responding to the area.

Bob Alviggi, who was at home with his wife when the plane crashed, said he heard a loud "boom" and watched as people rushed to the aircraft to pull the pilot out.

"I heard a big boom and my wife hollered at me 'There's a fire. A plane crashed. There's a fire. '"

He said he called 911 and then ran out the back door but couldn't get to the crash site, which was at spot with a 20-foot drop from his house in Fairfield, just across the border from West Caldwell.

He said the flames were so intense that the heat warped his fence, which is about 5 feet from the crash site.

"I've been here for almost 40 years and nothing like this every happened," Alviggi said.

Video on social media shows smoke rising from behind a home in the neighborhood with an ambulance at the scene.

West Caldwell police were not immediately available to provide more information. 


WEST CALDWELL, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a small aircraft has crashed in a residential area of New Jersey, injuring the pilot.

The crash occurred around 12:45 p.m. Saturday in West Caldwell, about a mile south of the Essex County Airport.

Authorities say the pilot was alone in the Beechcraft Bonanza plane and was conscious when rescue crews arrived. The man was being treated at a hospital for a broken leg and burns to his face and chest, but it wasn't immediately clear if the injuries were life-threatening.

It didn't appear that anyone on the ground was injured or that any homes were damaged. Witnesses said large plumes of smoke coming from the plane were visible in the neighborhood.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. 


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