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Old 03-02-2005, 00:41:05   #8
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From the NYTimes:

Quote:
At Least 19 Are Hurt as Small Jet Skids Off New Jersey Runway
By STEVE TWOMEY

Published: February 2, 2005

Shannon Stapleton for The New York Times
A corporate jet sped off the end of a runway at Teterboro Airport today and slammed into a warehouse.


A corporate jet trying to take off from Teterboro Airport hurtled off the end of a runway and across six lanes of one of New Jersey's busiest highways this morning before smashing into a clothing warehouse and erupting in flame.

At least 19 people were injured, three seriously, and officials shut U.S. Route 46 at the height of the morning commute and closed Teterboro, one of the nation's busiest small airports.

The twin-engine craft, departing in clear weather with eight passengers and a crew of three on a flight to Midway Airport in Chicago, never lifted off but instead "just went straight and started scratching the ground," Joseph Massaro, a witness, told The Associated Press. "There were sparks shooting out all over the place," said Dr. Massaro, a psychologist who lives nearby.

Armando Contreras, 22, an employee of the clothing warehouse who was working inside with about 60 other people, said he heard what sounded like an explosion on the other side of a door. "When I opened the door, the plane was inside my friend's office," Mr. Contreras said.

Kenneth J. Ringler Jr., executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said that it was too early to speculate about a cause of the crash but that there was no indication the plane was in trouble as it rolled down 6,000-foot runway No. 6 at 7:23 a.m. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board will oversee the investigation into the crash, Mr. Ringler said.

The jet was a Canadair CL- 600 Challenger, a model manufactured between 1980 and 1983 and similar to a Challenger that crashed in November in Colorado, killing the son of Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports. That crash is under investigation. A similar Challenger model also crashed in England in 2002, killing five people, an accident that was attributed in part to a failure to de-ice the plane's wings.

The CL-600 has "an outstanding safety record," said Leo Knaapen, a spokesman for Bombardier Aerospace, a division of Bombardier Inc., which bought Canadair in 1986. Its accident rate is one for every million hours of flight, Mr. Knaapen said, compared to an industry average of 4.8 accidents for every million flight hours.

Two of the people injured today apparently were riding in separate vehicles that were struck by the jet as it crossed U.S. 46. One was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with severe head injuries and was on a respirator, said Dr. Joseph Feldman, the center's chairman of emergency medicine. The other was taken to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck. That person's condition was unknown.

Dr. Feldman said that Hackensack University Medical Center also had admitted a bystander who complained of abdominal pain, and the jet's co-pilot, who suffered fractures of both legs. The center treated 14 other people, including four firefighters and all of the jet's passengers, for superficial injuries. All 14 either were released or were expected to be released shortly.

Holy Name Hospital also treated a flight attendant for minor injuries.

Local officials have often complained about noise and air pollution at Teterboro Airport, and planes have run off its tarmac at least twice in the past three years.

Anthony R. Coscia, the port authority's chairman, said at a news conference today that operating an airport in a heavily-populated area, like the one around Teterboro, "requires a great deal of attention." Asked about installing stronger barriers to prevent planes from skidding into highways, Mr. Coscia said that "is an issue we have constantly studied at this facility and others." But he said that it was not possible at Teterboro to install such safety systems and still comply with federal regulations "about having an unobstructed pathway for planes to take off."
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