Atlantic City, NJ Private Plane Crash, June 1973
3 KILLED IN CRASH AT SHORE.
Atlantic City, N.J. (UPI) -- Federal investigators planned to inspect the wreckage of a light plane today which crashed here, killing all three passengers aboard.
Police said there had been no radio contact Sunday with nearby Atlantic City Airport before the single-engine Monney craft plunged into waters near the Steel Pier.
The victims were identified as:
ROBERT L. CUSTER, 49, the pilot from Willow Grove, Pa.
NANCY LYNN CUSTER, 15, his daughter.
MICHELLE O'DONNELL, 15, his daughter's friend, of Upper Marlton, Pa.
Police said they believed the craft took off from the Northeast Philadelphia Airport and apparently was attempting to land when it crashed. An airport spokesman said they had no record of the flight.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were expected to sift through the wreckage today.
The plane crashed at 3:08 p.m. about two blocks northeast of the Steel Pier. The victims were trapped inside and were not reached until 45 minutes later by a Coast Guard cruiser which towed the plane to a nearby beach.
PAUL CARR, an Atlantic City life guard, said he and others dove through surface oil for the submerged plane but were unable to open its doors or see anyone inside.
"It went under instantly. We couldn't see anyone until we got the plane back to the beach," he said.
Ptl. JOSEPH S. RIFICE said a man fishing at the end of the pier, said the plane sounded as if it were losing altitude.
"It was so foggy," RIFICE said, "he didn't see the plane. And then he heard a crash."
A dog aboard the craft was also killed.
Delaware County Daily Times Chester Pennsylvania 1973-06-04