In September 1983 a small airplane hit a power line and crashed at Fourth and Eutaw streets in New Cumberland. Four people died.
Just eight months later on May 7, 1984, another plane crashed in New Cumberland.
The twin-engine Cessna 310K crashed into a home at 616 Coolidge St. causing the home to explode in flames because a natural gas line was severed.
The crash killed the pilot, Robert J. Boylan, 30, of New Jersey, and homeowner Ralph C. Wible, 79, who was in his kitchen.
"It was horrific," said Terry Stoner in a 1999 Patriot-News story. Stoner was mayor of New Cumberland at the time of the crash.
According to Patriot-News archives, the airplane was bound for Harrisburg International Airport and was being flown to an instrument landing in the darkness and fog. It had taken off from Philadelphia International Airport on a routine flight to pick up cargo in Harrisburg. The plane was owned by Aero Taxi Inc., an air-cargo company based in Philadelphia.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigation and report after the accident cited pilot error and his inexperience in that type of plane as the probable causes of the crash. It also said he did not follow proper procedures for using instrument flight rules and was bringing the plane in for landing at an improper rate of descent.
Story and photo galleyr: http://www.pennlive.com
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 27883.
Accident occurred Monday, May 07, 1984 in NEW CUMBERLAND, PA
Aircraft: CESSNA 310K, registration: N6907L
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
THE PLT DEPARTED VFR WITHOUT A FORMAL WX BRIEFING OR FILING A FLT PLAN. THE WX AT DEST WAS VFR WHEN THE PLT DEPARTED. THE FORECAST INDICATED THAT CEILINGS WOULD LOWER. THE WX DID, IN FACT, DETERIORATE WHILE THE FLT WAS ENROUTE AND THE PLT OBTAINED AN IFR CLEARANCE. ATC NOTED THE PLT MAKING ERRATIC RIGHT & LEFT TURNS AND QUERIED THE PLT WHO RESPONDED THAT 'EVERYTHING WAS FINE'. LATER, THE PLT WAS OBSERVED BY CONTROLLERS ON THE APPRCH HAVING DIFFICULTY NAVIGATION. AGAIN THE PLT WAS QUESTIONED, BUT HE ELECTED TO CONTINUE THE APPRCH. THE PLT WAS ADVISED BY THE CONTROLLER AS THE OM WAS PASSED. THE PLT ACKNOWLEDGED AND THERE WAS NO DISTRESS CALL. THE ACFT WAS OBSERVED BY GROUND WITNESSES BELOW THE OVERCAST SKIES PRIOR TO CRASHING 1.1 MILES INSIDE THE OM. THE ACFT COLLIDED WITH TRESS, WIRES AND A RESIDENCE. THE ACFT & RESIDENCE WERE DESTROYED BY THE IMPACT & FIRE.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
IFR PROCEDURE..NOT FOLLOWED..PILOT IN COMMAND
UNDERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND
LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE IN TYPE OF AIRCRAFT..PILOT IN COMMAND
LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND
CLEARANCE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND
WEATHER CONDITION..BRITTLE FRACTURE
PROPER DESCENT RATE..EXCEEDED..PILOT IN COMMAND
WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING
PROPER GLIDEPATH..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND
LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT