Family, Friends Stunned by Plane Crash

By Dick Johnson
|  Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010  |  Updated 10:45 PM CDT
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Plane Crash Kills Skokie Man, Three Grandchildren

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Plane Crash Kills Skokie Man, Three Grandchildren

A 73-year old Skokie man and three of his family members died Tuesday after the small plane he was piloting crashed shortly after taking off from a Mackinac Island, Michigan airport.
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The Skokie neighborhood where the Menora family has been so well known for so long was, according to one man, "in shock" over the plane crash that killed four family members.  And by sundown it showed.

Hundreds of mourners turned out in waves at the family's orthodox synagogue. But even longtime close family friends struggled with how to properly express their sympathy.

"Just the human hug and the human embrace shares so much of what the heart would like to be able to say, and words may not be adequate," said family friend Shael Bellows.

Moshe Menora, 73, was piloting a plane carrying his three granddaughters and 13-year-old grandson home from a trip to Mackinac Island Tuesday after what was supposed to be a cherished life-long memory for all

But something went wrong on take off from Mackinac County Airport.

Only the grandson, Joseph Menora, survived.  He was ejected from his grandfather's twin engine beechcraft as it crashed onto Interstate 75 in St. Ignace, flipped over and burst into flames.  He was critically burned and remains in stable, but critical, condition at  the University of Michigan Hospital.

All of the teenaged grandchildren were visiting from Israel.  Rebecca Menora, 16, Rachel Menora, 14, and Sarah Klein, 17, will be buried in Israel with their grandfather.

"What the brain won't comprehend, time will solve.  And I can't explain why God decided that a plane crash should happen," said Shalom Menora, the son of the pilot and father of two of the girls who died and the burned boy.

Shalom Menora is also the father of two older sons currently serving in the Israeli army.  He credits his father's life skills and lessons taught for giving him strength and guidance as he takes over the leadership of the close-knit family.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

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