1956 - INQUIRY IS LAUNCHED INTO PLANE CRASH.
Boca Raton (AP) - A Civil Aeronautics Board query was underway today into the cause of fruit fly spray plane crash in which five men were killed.
The aerial spray campaign, meanwhile, continued. A spokesman for the Mediterranean fruit fly fighters said to stop now would "undo everything we've done so far."
The plane, a C82 "Flying Boxcar," plummeted to the ground yesterday from a height of about 200 feet while banking to land at a deserted airfield here and burst into flames.
The five dead were CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, 34, the pilot; RAY F. HOWRY, 34, co-pilot, both of Hayward, Calif.; ALLEN JOHNSON, 18; WRREN ROGERS, 23, and JOHN TICHENOR, 44, all of Miami.
DICK GENTRY, piloting another spray plane close behind, said he saw smoke trailing from the left engine as the plane banked to turn.
Power apparently failed before the plane crashed, for the propeller blades of the left engine were bent straight back. Those on the right engine were snapped off at the hub.
The plane was operated by United-Heckathorn Corp. of Richmond, Calif. The head of the company said this was the first crash in nine years of operation.
The planes skim along at a height of about 150 feet in spraying for the fruit fly.
CHARLES COLLAR, CAB air safety investigator, said no probable cause could be assigned to the crash until the investigation is complete. Earlier in the week, the plane had received a regular 100-hour check.
The multi-engine planes of United-Heckathorn will work the area from West Palm Beach to Delray Beach today.
Smaller planes will hit areas at Lantana, Lake Placid, Clermont, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Jensen Beach, Pine Island, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Boca Grande, Mondongo, Estero, Bradenton, Manatee, Bethany, Myakka City, Bunker Hill and Pomelo Hill.
Fort Pierce News-Tribune
August 9, 1956
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