Saturday, September 11, 2010

1960 New York Air Disaster

The New York air disaster of 1960 was at the time the worst plane crash in the history of the USA. The crash happened at 10:33 am on Dec 16,1960 crashing west over Miller Field in Staten Island, New York. Half of the crash fell on to Miller Field in New Dorp, while the other half went down in Park Slope in Brooklyn. The crash killed 84 people aboard Flight 826, 44 on Flight 266 and 6 people on the ground. There was one sole survivor, an 11 year old boy on his way to visit his mother and sister in NY. Stephen Baltz was thrown from the plane on impact and fell into a near by snowbank. The boy only survived the crash, he lost his battle for life about 26 hours after the crash at Park slope's New York Methodist Hopital, the cause of death was due to burns that covered about 90% of his body.
11-year-old Stephen Baltz of Wilmette, Illinois

When asked about the crash and the last thing he remember the boy said when it happened he was looking at the snow fall over the city; "It looked like a picture out of a fairy book. It was a beautiful sight."  The only description of the crash he gave was "I heard a big noise while we were flying. The last thing I remember was the plane falling."

Flight 826 was 12 miles off course according to its "Black box" and also dived 3,600 feet in 81 seconds and dropped its speed from more than 500 miles per hour to 363 miles per hour when it hit the right side of the TWA plane at between 5,250 and 5,175 feet. This crash was the 1st time the black box was ever used to report extensively on crash details. Shortly before the crash, the crew reported its VOR receivers had stopped working, this made it difficult to fly on instrument conditions. They didn't however notify traffic controls. The flight was given a holding point as to where to stay and at 10:25 air controls cleared it. But not in time to advise other traffic near by to be aware and the two planes hit.

If you know where to look, there is still evidence of the crash in Park Slope. One man still has debris rusting in his backyard. Considering the crash hit in a very populated area in Brooklyn its amazing that only 6 people lost their lives on the ground. The plane that fell into Park Slope tried to make it to Prospect Park so that it at least wouldn't be on the streets. Unfortunately it landed on Sterling Pl and 7Th Ave., right in front of The Pillars of Fire Church.

Park Slope
 New York Times

1 comment: