Crash rattles community in Teterboro Airport flight path

- Paul Griffo lives in Rutherford, New Jersey, in a neighborhood about 4 miles from Teterboro Airport.

"I worry every time a plane flies over for this reason. It's not if there's going to be an accident it's when and where," he said. He added that when he heard about Monday's Learjet crash, "I was even more shocked... that nobody on the ground was hurt, which is literally a miracle when you think about what was going on here."

In this part of town, the noise from the private jets that fly in and out is powerful enough to rattle homes. And the sight of low-flying jets has been rattling nerves.

Monday's crash marks the sixth major accident at Teterboro since 2005. Each happened for a different reason: collisions, weight, weather. Neighbors who live under the flight path say the fact it could happen at any time for any reason puts them in a constant state of anxiety.

Kristen Frendak is the founder of CRAFT or Concerned Residents Along the Flight path of Teterboro.

"When you're sleeping you think they're going to come into your roof," Frendak said. "I have a niece that sleeps here. She's worried about the planes coming into the house. You can have nightmares."

That nightmare came to life this week. Frendak and others said that Monday's crash could have just as easily happened in their own backyards instead of an industrial area. That is why CRAFT has been pushing for the flight path of incoming jets to be shifted toward nearby Route 17 instead of directly over homes.

"Just a mile or two to the east of where we are, which would give this part of town a lot of help," Griffo said.

Like many others here, Frendak has lived in this neighborhood for decades. And yes she and other CRAFT members knew when they moved in how close they were to Teterboro.

"People come into our page and say 'Move, move, move, why did you buy a house near an airport?' Well, let me tell you, the traffic was not like that when we moved here," Frendak said. "It just started in the last three or four years that the volume has increased and the planes have gotten bigger."

Frendak said CRAFT has met with both the FAA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the airport. Neither agency responded to request for comment.

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