West Milford, NJ Private Plane Crash, July 1976


West Milford, N.J. (AP) -- Five persons were killed when a single-engine private plane crashed 700 feet short of a runway and exploded into flames near a drive-through animal park.
LOUIS FABER, 52, a fifth-grade teacher from Sayville, N.Y., was piloting the white Beechcraft Bonanza on Sunday when it hit treetops, flipped and crashed in a woods about 50 yards off a former access road to Jungle Habitat.
Also killed were MICHAEL CAVALE, 31, of Smithtown, N.Y.; his son, MICHAEL, JR., 6; JOHN FURREVIG, 44, an auto mechanic from Deer Park, N.Y.; and CHARLES DIGIORGIO, 41,
a construction worker from Huntington Station, N.Y.
Both CAVALE and DIGIORGIO were also licensed pilots. FABER was described by a friend as an experienced pilot who had flown for more than 20 years.
The group left Islip-MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y., Sunday morning and was flying to Pennsylvania to pick up CAVALE'S plane, which had been undergoing repairs in Honesdale.

North Adams Transcript Massachusetts 1976-07-19


Please acknowledge the witness's recollection

Can you please acknowledge that even though there were reports stating fire and explosion, the vet tech that arrived stated there wasn't even smoke.

i was there

I was a vet tech at warner bros jungle habitat. I was on the mountain by the big rock used to lay out the habitat property, saw the palne and then it disappeared, Paid no attention. a second later Dave murray called in a plane crash by gate 8 at the habitat. I drove the vet truck doiwn the mountain and was the first person on the scene. the plabe clipped the tops of the trees and flipped. I ran to the fuselage and thought i could help someone. No smoke, no fire. I walked arounf the wreckage which was just the small plane cabin. Could see no one. I noticed some debris hnging from the trees and began to widen my search to no avail. After about 5 -10 minutes emergency personel began to arrive and I just left.

The plane was on the right, uphill side of the old main entrance.

That day still hauntts me. It was such a breautiful Sunday morning with bright blue skies.


Thank you both for pointing out my error ....
I have rechecked the accident and found my mistake
Thank you both for being GenDisaster supporters
Stu Beitler

This did in fact happen in

This did in fact happen in 1976. I was 5yrs old and Michael Cavale was my father...

Bonanza Crash

Hi - Thanks for the article- I knew them all- Still recall the day it happened.This was a 1968 model Bonanza. Article is fine but Im certain this accident happened in 1976 not 1968- Still never learned the cause.- Thanks again Phil