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1960 New York Mid-Air collision – The Park Slope Crash · SOCIAL ARCHIVE ·

1960 New York Mid-Air collision – The Park Slope Crash

On Friday, December 16, 1960, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8, bound for Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) in New York City, collided inmidair with a TWA Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation descending into the city's LaGuardia Airport. The Constellation crashed on Miller Field in Staten Island and the DC-8 into Park Slope, Brooklyn, killing all 128 people on thetwo aircraft and six people on the ground. It was the deadliest aviation disaster in the world at the time. The death toll would not be surpassed until a Lockheed C-130B Hercules was shot down in May 1968, killing 155 people. In terms of commercial aviation,the death toll would not be surpassed until the March 1969 crash of Viasa Flight 742, which crashed on takeoff and killed all 84 people on board the aircraft, as well as 71 people on the ground. The accident became known as the Park Slope plane crash or the Miller Field crash, after the crashsites of each plane respectively. The accident was also the first hull loss and first fatal accident involving a Douglas DC-8.

United Airlines Flight 826, Mainliner Will Rogers, registration N8013U, was a DC-8-11 carrying 84 people from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago to Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) in Queens. The crew wasCaptain Robert Sawyer (age 46), First Officer Robert Fiebing (40), Flight Engineer Richard Pruitt (30), and four stewardesses.

Trans World Airlines Flight 266, Star of Sicily, registration N6907C, was a Super Constellation carrying 44 people from Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, to LaGuardia Airport in Queens. The crew was Captain DavidWollam (age 39), First Officer Dean Bowen (32), Flight Engineer LeRoy Rosenthal (30), and two stewardesses.

The likely cause of the accident was identified in a report by the US Civil Aeronautics Board: "United Flight 826 proceeded beyond its clearance limit and the confines of the airspace allocated to the flight by Air Traffic Control. A contributingfactor was the high speed of the United DC-8 as it approached the Preston intersection, coupled with the change of clearance which reduced theen-route distance along Victor 123 by approximately 11 miles."

Source: Wikipedia.

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