Norwalk, OH Private Plane Crash, Sep 1962



Norwalk, Ohio (AP) - A single-engine private plane crashed into an Ohio Turnpike embankment shortly after taking off nearby and exploded and burned Thursday afternoon. Three men employees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the wife of one of them were trapped inside and perished.

The Victims.
The victims were identified by NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland as:
JOHN A. SHELDON, 29, of North Olmstead, a Cleveland suburb. He was owner and pilot of the blue-green Cessna-170.
ALLAN JAMES CAIRNS, 21, of Akron, a NASA student trainee at Lewis Research from Notre Dame University.
ERNEST THOMAS BIALEK, 22, of 14817 Leonard Ave., Lakewood.
and BIALEK'S wife, JANET, about 20.

Not On Business.
SHELDON and BIALEK were engineers in the electric propulsion laboratory of Lewis Research Center. A NASA spokesman said the plane trip was not in connection with their government work.
Witnesses said the plane landed at a motel airstrip on U.S. Highway 250 eight miles north of here about an hour before the crash and the occupants walked around for a while before it took off again.

Climbed To 300 Feet.
On takeoff, the witnesses said, the plane headed south into the wind, turned westward then headed north, reaching an altitude of about 300 feet.
"It appeared to be wobbling and unable to gain altitude before it crashed," one witness said.
The faltering aircraft narrowly missed the top of a filling station, some trees, and the roof of the 2 1/2 story Old Homestead Inn.
About 400 yards from the point of takeoff the plane smashed into a high embankment off the south edge of the Ohio Turnpike. It flipped over, exploded and burst into flames.

Danville Register Virginia 1962-09-14