Elizabeth, NJ 34 Killed In Another Air Crash, Feb 1952
The fire in the plane wreckage burned itself out sooner. Police roped it off as "a disaster area," to preserve it untouched for investigators.
The investigators was under way quickly. JOSEPH O. FLUET- inspector of the Civil Aeronautics Board in the New York region, rushed to the Union County Courthouse and set up temporary headquarters in the offices of county Prosecutor EDWARD COHN. His first move was to impound all records of the plane and passengers.
Because the pilot jettisoned gasoline, indicating an emergency demand to lessen weight, FLUET revealed that the plane's manifest gave its take-off weight at 83,437 pounds. The maximum allowable take-off weight for a DC-6, FLUET said, is 86,150 pounds. The maximum permissable landing weight is 75,000 pounds, he added and pointed out that the gasoline consumed in a flight to Miami would have lowered the plane's weight well below the top limit.
Newark Airport is seven miles due west of the southern tip of Manhattan. Its take-off and landing glide paths lead directly over the New Jersey communities of Elizabeth, Newark, Linden, Union, Granford, Hillside, Roselle and Roselle Park.
On Jan. 31, Capt. EDDIE RICKENBACKER, president of Eastern Air Lines, said in a press conference called by the Air Transport Association that Newark was "a preferred airport" to pilots under any weather conditions. He said that in most pilots opinion "it is the best situated, the best equipped, and the safest airport in the entire country."
Ten pilots representing five airlines confirmed the statement. They said their personal choice in bad weather always would be Newark.
But figures and talk had little effect on the people of Elizabeth. Indignation, which had run in angry undercurrents through the city, after the first two crashes, boiled to the surface.
Angry neighbors gathered outside homes in the early morning hours.
"This is the last straw; how much more can we talk?" one man shouted.
Continued on Page 4.