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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


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

This did in fact happen in

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


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

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.

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.

article | by Dr. Radut