New Jersey

NJ Plane Crash Could Have Been Even More Deadly, Destructive If Not For a Few Fortunate Breaks

If not for a young girl at school, a mother covering a work shift and a well-timed fire department drill, the plane crash could have been far worse

What to Know

  • If just three things had gone a little differently, the deadly plane crash in New Jersey could have been even worse
  • A 6-year-old girl who lives in the home was at school at the time, and her mother was supposed to be home but covered a shift at work
  • No civilians in the homes were hurt and only the pilot, who died in the crash, was aboard the plane

If just three things had gone a little differently, the deadly plane crash in New Jersey could have been even worse.

As authorities removed the body of Dr. Michael Schloss from the charred wreckage of the home his Cessna 414 crashed into on Tuesday, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were still trying to find a cause for the aircraft to fall out of the sky. Neighbors said they saw crews removing the fuselage and large chunks of the burned plane during the afternoon.

Investigators say Schloss didn't radio a distress signal before the crash in the Colonia section of Woodbridge Township. The house the plane landed into on Berkley Avenue went up in flames that completely destroyed the building, and two other homes sustained damage in the crash.

On Wednesday, donations began pouring in for the three families left displaced as a result of the damage, to cover expenses they’re now facing. However, it may be a bit of luck that possessions were the only thing those families lost.

A 6-year-old girl lives in the home the New York City cardiologist crashed into, but the crash happened when she was still at school. The girl’s mother was supposed to be at the house, however she left to cover a shift at her job, according to Woodbridge Mayor John McCormack — leaving the house thankfully empty.

After the plane had gone into the home, the inferno quickly overtook the home and threatened to spread. The Colonia fire department, a volunteer unit, was together out doing drills when they got the call, reducing the amount of time it took for firefighters to start battling the flames.

“They were in a unit so they were there in under five minutes, closer to two minutes,” said McCormack.

The FAA and NTSB are still investigating.

Schloss had moved to Virginia and was coming back to the city for a lecture. The plane had taken off from an airport in Virginia Tuesday morning, and was set to land in at Linden Airport some time shortly after noon.

The plane was seen on a doorbell camera falling from the sky, just moments before the crash.

A neighbor in the area recalled hearing a plane that sounded "really low."

"It started to sputter a little bit," he told News 4. "All of a sudden there was this huge explosion, or just this big bang, louder than any car crash I've ever heard."

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