Pecks Pond, PA Private Plane Crashes, July 1975



Pecks Pond -- Four persons were killed Saturday when their private plane plunged into the side of the mountain near Pecks Pond in Pike County and burst into flames.
Three of the victims were found inside the aircraft "burned almost beyond recognition" on Monday, according to state police at Milford.
A fourth passenger had been thrown from the plane upon impact and was found dead several feet beyond the crash site, police said.
Tpr. Michael Chaplin, state police at Milford, said the single-engine, green and white Beechcraft Bonanza plunged directly into the side of a mountain in an area owned by the Blooming Grove Fishing and Hunting Club.
Police discovered the charred bodies and mangled plane wreckage shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, five miles south of Interstate 84 in Blooming Grove Township.
State police identified the victims as:
the pilot, FRANK KIPIKASHA, 52, of Clifton, N.J.
JACK ACKERMAN, 45, of Denville, N.J.
HAROLD BOBKIER, 50, of Nutley, N.J.
JOSEPH BOBKIER, 14, of Nutley, N.J., HAROLD'S son.
The bodies had been lying at the crash site for two days before a Civil Air Patrol plane discovered the wreckage.
The private plane, owned by KIPIKASHA, left the Caldwell-Wright Airport near Newark, N.J., at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, heading for Cherry Ridge Airport near Honesdale, Wayne County. Police said the plane was almost half-way to its destination when it crashed about 9:30 a.m. in the heavily forested area.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigated the cause of the crash late Monday afternoon, but did not have an official report.
According to Tpr. Chaplin, the plane took off several tree tops 50 to 70 feet high before impact.
"The plane took off one large tree top before the pilot pulled up. It hit one more tree and then crashed into the side of the hill," Chaplin said.
Four state policemen and 18 members of the Civil Air Patrol worked for nearly five hours Monday to remove the victims and the wreckage from the scene.
Pike County Coroner Duncan Stroyan pronounced the pilot and three passengers dead at about 1:30 p.m. and ruled the deaths "as accidental due to a fire after the crash."
He said all victims will be taken to Denville, N.J. for funeral arrangements.
Charles Parker of FAA, who briefly inspected the site, was informed by Civil Air Force members that there were no witnesses to the crash.
Parker said Daniel Sayers, a National Transportation Safety Board official, would be responsible for making a report on the tragedy.
Parker said FAA officials would still have to determine whether KIPIKASHA was flying in inclement or foggy weather early Saturday.
According to Chaplin, KIPIKASHA was an "instrument rated pilot" which allowed him to fly in inclement weather.

Pocono Record Stroudsburg Pennsylvania 1975-07-22