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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Two days after jet crash near Teterboro, pilots still are unidentified charred corpses

Boy, the shit is really hitting the fan in the nation's capital after The New York Times reported that in February, President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation of Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned after lying about his contacts with Russian officials. This cartoon -- "ANYONE CAN GROW UP TO BE PRESIDENT" -- is by John Cole of the Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.


Editor's note: This post has been updated with the identity of the co-pilot who died in Monday's crash of a Learjet near Teterboro Airport.

VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

How long should it take for a newspaper like The Record to identify the two pilots whose Learjet crashed and burned short of their Teterboro Airport runway on Monday afternoon?

Thousands of words about the crash appear in the paper today, but readers don't know their names or whether they left behind wives, children or parents.

The focus today is on whether the pilots' decision to stay in Manhattan instead of Philadelphia set them up to crash as the result of a "rogue gust of wind" near Teterboro Airport (1A).

Check out the amateurish photos on Page 1 today: 

The bigger one is a trick shot of another jet landing at Teterboro that seems to show the aircraft below telephone-pole wires on Route 46.

Above that, a photo shows police officers gathered near their vehicles. What the F! That's worthy of the front page?

Trailer park news

Meanwhile, veteran Columnist Mike Kelly could have chosen any of the thousands of people who live in Hackensack high-rises or homes in Carlstadt or other towns to illustrate the danger and menace of the airport.

Instead, he found a 30-year-old man who lives with his "mother, brother, sister and three dogs" in a Moonachie trailer park across the street from the south end of the jetport.

The headline:

"Airport's neighbors still struggle with anxiety"

When the jet hit the parking lot of Carlstadt's public works building and burst into flames, Matt Vitale heard a "boom -- loud, metallic, deadly," Kelly says (6A).

"The trailer shook. The dogs started barking. Vitale got no sleep."

Another Kelly column that undoubtedly will be submitted for a Pulitzer Prize.

This evening, HackensackDailyVoice.com identified the co-pilot as Jeffrey Alino, 33.

"There are reports that the plane was upside down when it crashed," Daily Voice reported.




Learjet 35A

On Tuesday, The Record reported Learjets like the one that crashed have been involved in 61 fatalities from 1979 through 2015.

A May 24, 1988, crash killed four in the middle of the night when a Learjet 35A crashed into "a Woodland Park hillside minutes after it left Teterboro [Airport]."

Federal investigators cited the pilot and co-pilot's "poor judgment and limited experience, as well as 'known deficiencies in equipment,'" Staff Writer Dave Sheingold reported, without elaborating.

And The Record's story makes no attempt to compare the Learjet 35A's safety record to other corporate jets.