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Last updated: 1 April 2020
Status:Final
Date:Friday 31 October 1969
Time:22:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic JCOM model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rockwell 1121 Jet Commander
Operator:Pittston Co.
Registration: N236JP
C/n / msn: 116
First flight: 1967
Total airframe hrs:746
Engines: 2 General Electric CJ610-1
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Rural Retreat, VA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America
Destination airport:Bristol, VA/Johnson City/Kingsport-Tri-Cities Regional, TN (TRI/KTRI), United States of America
Narrative:
The Pittston Company's Jet Commander 1121, N236JF, on a flight from LaGuardia Airport, New York, to Tri-City Airport, Johnson City, Tennessee, crashed while descending on a radar vector to the final approach course at Tri-City. The crew of two and the one passenger aboard the aircraft were fatally injured.
The aircraft made contact with the ground 2450 feet above sea level while in an approximately 60 degree nosedown wings-level attitude.
The impact site was about 2 miles northeast of Mountain Empire Airport, Rural Retreat, Virginia. The impact crater was 25 feet in diameter at the top, with a depth of about 18 feet. The left aileron was the only large piece of the aircraft that was visible in the crater. The remainder of the wreckage was below the loose dirt at the 9-foot level or strewn forward along both sides of a wreckage path that extended 500 feet beyond the crater.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Following a malfunction or failure in the 115-Volt alternating current electrical system, the crew did not take proper action, resulting in the loss of the pilot's flight instruments in instrument flight conditions and subsequent loss of control."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-70-22
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Electrical system problem
Loss of control

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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Map
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 Bristol, VA/Johnson City/Kingsport-Tri-Cities Regional, TN as the crow flies is 876 km (547 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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