1960 New York mid-air collision

Mid-air collision

United Airlines Flight 826 was a flight that collided with TWA Flight 266 on December 16, 1960. No one survived. It was the deadliest at the time. The accident became known as the Park Slope plane crash or the Miller Field crash, named after the two crash sites.[1] The accident was also the first hull loss and the first fatal accident involving a Douglas DC-8.[2][3]

1960 New York mid-air collision
United Airlines Flight 826 · Trans World Airlines Flight 266
Accident
DateDecember 16, 1960 (1960-12-16)
SummaryMid-air collision
SiteAbout a mile west of Miller Field
40°34′07″N 74°07′19″W / 40.56861°N 74.12194°W / 40.56861; -74.12194Coordinates: 40°34′07″N 74°07′19″W / 40.56861°N 74.12194°W / 40.56861; -74.12194
Total fatalities134
Total injuries0
Total survivors0
First aircraft
A jetliner on the apron
The tail assembly of N8013U, the Douglas DC-8-11 involved in the collision
TypeDouglas DC-8-11
NameMainliner Will Rogers
OperatorUnited Airlines
IATA flight No.UA826
ICAO flight No.UAL826
Call signUNITED 826
RegistrationN8013U
Flight originChicago-O'Hare International Airport (ORD/KORD), IL
DestinationIdlewild Airport (IDL/KIDL)(Now John F. Kennedy International Airport), New York City
Occupants84
Passengers77
Crew7
Fatalities84 (83 initially)
Injuries0 (1 initially)
Survivors0 (1 initially)
Second aircraft
TypeLockheed L-1049A Super Constellation
NameStar of Sicily
OperatorTrans World Airlines
IATA flight No.TW266
ICAO flight No.TWA266
Call signTWA 266
RegistrationN6907C
Flight originDayton International Airport (DAY/KDAY), Dayton, Ohio
StopoverPort Columbus International Airport (CMH/KCMH), Ohio
DestinationLaGuardia Airport KLGA New York
Occupants44
Passengers39
Crew5
Fatalities44
Survivors0
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities6

Aircrafts and crewsEdit

United Airlines Flight 826, Mainliner Will Rogers, registration N8013U, was a DC-8-11 carrying 77 passengers and seven crew members. It was travelling from O'Hare International Airport to Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) in Queens. The crew consisted of captain Robert Sawyer (age 46), first officer Robert Fiebing (40), flight engineer Richard Pruitt (30) and four stewardesses.[4]

Trans World Airlines Flight 266, Star of Sicily, registration N6907C, was a Super Constellation carrying 39 passengers and five crew members. It was travelling from Dayton and Columbus, Ohio to LaGuardia Airport in Queens. The crew consisted of captain David Wollam (age 39), first officer Dean Bowen (32), flight engineer LeRoy Rosenthal (30) and two stewardesses.[4][5]

Initial survivorEdit

There was a initial survivor in the accident, Stephen Baltz, an 11-year-old boy from Wilmette, Illinois. He was travelling alone on Flight 826 to spend Christmas with his relatives. He was thrown from the plane into the snowbank, where the snow helped to put out the fire on his clothes. Although he was alive and conscious, he was severely burned and had breathed in burning fuel. Baltz died of pneumonia the next day.[6]

LegacyEdit

The total number of fatalities of the accident would not be surpassed until a Lockheed C-130B Hercules was shot down in May 1968, killing 155 people.[7] In terms of commercial aviation, the death toll would not be surpassed until Viasa Flight 742 on March 1969. The aircraft crashed on takeoff and killed all 84 people on board, as well as 71 people on the ground.[8]

In 2010, on the 50th anniversary of the accident, a memorial to the 134 victims of the two crashes was revealed in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn. The cemetery is the site of the common grave containing the remains of those whom could not be identified.[9][10]

The collision is covered in "Collision Course," the fifth episode of the first season of The Weather Channel documentary series Why Planes Crash.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Park Slope Plane Crash". The New York Times. December 16, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  2. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-8-11 N8013U New York, NY". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2020-02-28.
  3. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation N6907C Miller Army Air Station, NY". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "UNITED AIR LINES, INC, DC-8, N8013U, AND TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC., CONSTELLATION 1049A, N6907C, NEAR STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 16, 1960" (PDF). archive.org. Civil Aeronautics Board. 18 June 1962. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  5. "1960 plane collision over NYC spurred improvements". Associated Press. March 27, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  6. Perlmutter, Emanuel (18 December 1960). "Boy Who Survived Crash Dies; 'Stevie Tried Hard,' Father Says". The New York Times. p. 49.
  7. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed C-130B Hercules 60-0297 Kham Duc". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  8. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 YV-C-AVD Maracaibo". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  9. "New York - New Monument Marks 1960 Brooklyn Air Crash". Vos Iz Neias. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  10. staff/jen-carlson (2010-12-16). "Memorial Is Unveiled For 1960s Park Slope Plane Crash". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 31 July 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  11. Sommers, Caroline (27 April 2013). Why Planes Crash (TV Documentary) (Collision Course ed.). The Weather Channel: NBC Peacock Productions.