North Hollywood, CA Cargo Airliner Crashes Into Homes, Dec 1962
HORROR HITS N. HOLLYWOOD -- DEATH RAINED FROM SKY.
North Hollywood (AP) -- Civil Aeronautics Board Investigators dug through charred wreckage Saturday, trying to learn why a four-propeller
cargo airliner crashed in flames in a San Fernando Valley residential industrial area Friday night. Nine persons died.
The Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation, arriving after a regular daily flight from Boston and Chicago, tore down crackling power lines and smashed or burned nine houses and two industrial plants. Two houses were destroyed.
The liner, flying eastward, crashed at 10:10 p.m., about a mile short of its goal -- Lockheed Air terminal. Its gas tanks exploded, flames engulfing a house. One engine hit a truck. The fuselage ground ahead for about 500 feet, battering into a home where a couple -- unhurt --watched television.
The crash plunged a wide area into darkness in this suburb, a part of the city of Los Angeles.
Six Civil Aeronautics Board investigators, with more en route from other field offices, probed the scorched, wreckage-strewn scene Saturday, seeking the cause of the crash. Firemen pried into the ruins looking for possibly more bodies.
The area of damaged homes, garages and trees measures approximately 1,200 by 85 feet. One fireman -- among 19 companies that responded -- suffered a badly cut wrist, and several residents were injured. But other families told of miraculous escapes.
The Flying Tiger Line offered food, clothing and shelter to half a dozen families reported by the Red Cross to have lost all or more of their possessions in the tragedy.
The dead were mangled and burned, making even their counting difficult. Coroner's aides awaited dental charts and other clues to identification.
Police Sgt. T. H. GERBER said, "We have four female bodies and five male bodies -- parts of bodies. We're making nine death reports."
A Flying Tiger spokesman said four men aboard the plane were presumed dead although the coroner's office had identified only the body of flight engineer JACK W. GREY, 33, San Mateo.
The airline spokesman said the others were Capt. KARL C. RADER, 38, Burlingame, pilot, a veteran of 12 years with the company; co-pilot DAVID L. CAPRO, 25, Compton, and JOHN A. OLSEN, of nearby Sunland, a passenger. OLSEN'S wife JANET works in the accounting department of Flying Tiger's nearby Burbank office.
Flying Tiger said MRS. VIOLET BLAZEK, 57, of Chicago also was tentatively identified as having been on the plane. MRS. BLAZEK was the mother of MRS. JACK ELLIOTT of nearby Northridge, wife of a Flying Tiger employe, and had a pass to ride the plane here, a spokesman said.
It was the line's fourth crash this year. A transport carrying 107 persons vanished in the Pacific last spring. Another later crashed in the Atlantic, killing 29 of 75 aboard. A crash off Cold Bay, Alaska, killed one man.
A witness, MIKE POWERS, said he saw the big plane come in low out of the mist.
"It had its landing gear and flaps down," he said. "The landing lights were burning. The left wing dipped, and the plane smashed in, nose first."
Flames shot 100 feet into the air. Children screamed.
LIST OF HOMES, FACTORIES DAMAGED IN PLANE CRASH.
North Hollywood (UPI) -- Here is a list of the homes and factories damaged or destroyed by the crash of a Flying Tiger freight plane last night:
11950 Vose St. -- USA Display Corp. factory; damaged by fire.
12016 Vose St. -- Retco, Inc., a brick factory, nearly flattened and fire damaged; a small concrete-block storage shed in rear damaged.
12036 Vose St. -- House of Mode factory, nearly demolished by impact and fire.
12000 Vose St. -- Two small houses; one flattened, the other gutted by fire.
12010 Vose St. -- Residence of ANTHONY MOSQUEDA, gutted by fire.
12028 Vose St. -- Residence of WILLIAM J. MALONE, damaged.
12030 Vose St. -- Empty house flattened.
12030 1/2 Vose St. -- House destroyed.
12042 Vose St. -- Home flattened and gutted by impact and fire.
12048 Vose St. -- Home burned and windows broken.
11053 Hart St. -- Home of SAM HARNISH damaged by impact and minor fire damage.
12045 Hart St. -- Combination garage and laundry room lost roof.
Independent Press-Telegram Long Beach California 1962-12-16