Narrative:The DC-3 was on a scheduled flight en route from LaGuardia Field to Wilmington, having originated at Boston, with Memphis as the destination. Takeoff from LaGuardia was at 10:00. The flight reported its position as over Freehold, NJ, at 10:17 and estimated arrival over Philadelphia, at 10:37. At the same time, a US Navy Grumman F6F-5N Hellcat aircraft (72887) was en route from the Anacostia NAS, DC, to the Quonset Point NAS, RI, on a training flight. Weather conditions existing over the route of both aircraft were good. The visibility was 10 miles and there were scattered clouds at 12,000 feet. At about 10:30 the F6F-5 was observed to perform acrobatics and to "buzz" a small civil aircraft in the neighborhood of Chesterfield, NJ. These maneuvers terminated in collision between the F6F-5 and the DC-3. Upon collision the fighter plane lost its left wing and the DC-3 lost the outer portion of its left wing. Both aircraft then fell in erratic paths, losing various parts while falling. The DC-3 burned when it struck the ground. The fighter's pilot was either seriously injured or killed at the time of the collision and was thrown clear of the aircraft during the descent. There was no indication that he attempted to use his parachute.
|Date:||30 JUL 1949|
|Operator:||Eastern Air Lines|
|C/n / msn:|| 2260|
|First flight:|| 1940|
|Total airframe hrs:||37840|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12|
|Total:||Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15 |
|Collision casualties:||Fatalities: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Chesterfield, NJ (United States of America)
|Phase:|| En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America|
|Destination airport:||Wilmington Airport, DE (ILG/KILG), United States of America|
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The reckless conduct of the Navy pilot in performing acrobatic maneuvers on a civil airway and his failure to notice the presence of an air carrier aircraft with which he collided."
» CAB File No. 1-0067
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from New York-La Guardia Airport, NY to Wilmington Airport, DE as the crow flies is 190 km (119 miles).