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Published on 15 Mar 2014 | over 2 years ago

Yes...those are people falling out...

911 wasn't the only aviation disaster to happen in New York. The 1960 New York mid-air collision, also known as the Park Slope Plane Crash, was a mid-air collision between two airliners that occurred over New York City on Friday, 16 December 1960. The collision of United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266 caused Flight 266 to crash into Staten Island and Flight 826 to crash into Park Slope, Brooklyn, resulting in the deaths of all 128 people on board the two airliners and six people on the ground.

At 10:21 A.M. Eastern Time, the United plane advised its company radio operator that one of its VOR receivers had stopped working (although they did not notify air traffic controllers of the problem), making it harder to navigate in instrument conditions. At 10:25 A.M. Eastern Time, air traffic control issued a revised clearance for the flight to shorten its course to the Preston holding point (near South Amboy, New Jersey) by 12 miles (19 km). The United plane was supposed to circle the holding point at an altitude of 5,000 ft (1,500 m) at no more than 240 mph (210 kn; 390 km/h).

The weather was light rain and fog (which had been preceded by snowfall). According to information from the United plane's flight data recorder (the first time a "black box" had been used to provide extensive details in a crash investigation), the plane was 12 miles (19 km) off course and for 81 seconds descended at 3,600 feet per minute (18 m/s) and slowed from more than 500 to 363 mph (434 to 315 kn; 805 to 584 km/h) when it collided with the TWA Constellation just ahead of the wings via one of the DC-8's engines. The Constellation's fuselage was torn apart violently, also ripping the DC-8's engine off its pylon. The Constellation entered a dive with debris being blasted out of the aircraft as it spiraled to the ground. The DC-8, without one engine, managed to remain in flight for some time.

With a death toll of 134, the accident was the deadliest U.S. commercial aviation disaster at the time, exceeding the 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision's toll of 128 fatalities. Both collisions involved a TWA aircraft and a United aircraft. The death toll also surpassed the 1953 Tachikawa air disaster as the deadliest aviation disaster worldwide, and would remain so until 1969, when Viasa Flight 742, a Viasa McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed after takeoff at Maracaibo, Venezuela, killing 155.

Filmmaker and critic Hollis Frampton was scheduled to be on the United flight, but decided to delay his return to New York for one day in order to see a retrospective of the work of Edward Weston in Minneapolis; he said of this decision that he was "never...able to decide whether Weston tried to kill me, or saved my life." Mountaineer Edmund Hillary was also scheduled on this flight, but was late and did not board the aircraft.

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