Airplane Crash - Staten Island / Brooklyn, New York 12/16/1960

Details of airplane crash/ shootdown - Staten Island / Brooklyn, New York

LocationStaten Island / Brooklyn, New York
OperatorUnited Air Lines / Trans World Airlines
Flight #826/266
RouteChicago - New York City / Columbus - New York City
TypeMD DC-8-11 / Lockheed 1049 S Const
Cn/In45290 /4021
SummaryA midair collision took place over Staten Island at 5,000 ft. The Connie was cleared to land at La Guardia Airport on Runway 04 when the United DC-8 struck the Connie tearing it apart. The Connie immediately crashed to the ground at Miller Army Air Field on Staten Island. One passenger was sucked out into one of the DC8s jet engines. Other passengers fell from the Connie as the spinning fuselage fell onto Staten Island. The United jet tried to make an emergency landing at La Guardia Airport but could not maintain altitude and crashed into the streets of Brooklyn. Forty-four passengers on the Constellation and eight-four passengers on the DC-8 were killed. Three passengers from the DC-8 died shortly after. One young boy, Stephen Baltz survived several days before succumbing to his injuries. Six people were also killed on the ground. The United crew entered a low-altitude holding pattern at 500 miles per hour, twice the speed it should have been going and flew past the clearance limits and airspace allocated to the flight. One of 2 VORs on the DC-8 was not functioning. Although the crew knew this, they failed to report this to the ATC, who probably would have provided extra radar assistance.

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