Farmingdale, NY Private Planes Collide, July 1968


Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP) -- Eight persons, including
two small girls and three women, were killed Sunday night when two private planes collided over East Farmingdale and crashed in cemetery property.
One craft, a twin-engine Piper-Aztec, went down in flames. The other, a single-engine Piper Cherokee, was demolished but did not burn. Wreckage was strewn over a large area near the Beth Moses Cemetery, part of a burial ground complex in this Long Island area.
There are no homes in the vicinity, which is largely wooded, and no one was injured on the ground.
Four persons were aboard each plane -- seven of them from New York State and the eighth with both a Connecticut and New York address.
The Federal Aviation Agency said the collision occurred about 8:30 p.m. at an altitude of 800 to 1,000 feet as both craft were making their final approaches to Republic Flying Field. An FAA spokesman said the Aztec's left wing apparently struck the Cherokee.
The Cherokee, owned by Flight Safety Inc., had been en route from Providence, R.I., police said.
It could not be learned immediately who owned the Aztec or where its flight originated.
The FAA spokesman said the two planes were operating on visual flight rules, which means they were not under any traffic control. Neither plane had filed a flight plan, the spokesman added.
Suffolk County police gave the following tentative identifications of the dead:
In the Aztec:
WALTER RERAT, 46, the pilot, of Glenwood Landing, N.Y.
his wife, KAY, 48.
two granddaughters, MONICA ANN LEE, 4, of Northport, N.Y. and her sister ERICA SUSAN, 3.
Also in the wreckage was the RERAT family dog.
In the Cherokee:
FRANCIS R. MAZZA, 25, the pilot, Cedarhurst, N.Y.
ROBERT LASPINA, 24, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
JANET BROWN, 22, of Darien, Conn., and New York City.
PENELOPE MANSFIELD, in her early 20's, of New York City.
Police said MAZZA and LASPINA were connected with Brooks Bros., which operates fashionable men's clothing stores. MISS BROWN was reported to have been connected with Abercrombie & Fitch, a Madison Avenue apparel and sporting goods store.
MISS MANSFIELD, a native of Melbourne, Australia, was said to have been employed by the Australian Embassy in New York City.

Lowell Sun Massachusetts 1968-07-29



50 years later Mike and I are telling our daughter and granddaughter what a great man Bobby Mazza was He sang Ave Maria at our in 1965. I’m sure he’s in heaven singing with his mom. A great young man and friend.

Farmingdale, NY Private Planes Collide, July 1968

I remember this and thought why not search the web. No I know the details of that event. Thanks for posting it.

We lived a few blocks from the Beth Moses Cemetery on Clearview Drive. We were out back on the deck and my mom looked up and said, those two model planes just hit each other. My dad said those are real planes and we watched them fall to the ground. Everyone headed to the cemetery but my little brother and I were too little to go along. Dad came home later and said it was bad, no one made it.

Still sticks in my mind seeing them falling like model airplanes.