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Accident Report Detail

The Pittston Company Aero Commander 1121, N236JP

Executive Summary

The Pittston Company's Aero Commander 1121, N236JP, on a flight from LaGuardia Airport, New York, to Tri-City Airport, Johnson City, Tennessee, on the night of October 31, 1969, crashed at approximately 2210 e.s.t. 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 2,450 feet above sea level while in an approximately 60" 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

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was that, 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 Location: Rural Retreat , VA    
Accident Date: 10/31/1969
Accident ID: IAD70A0028

Date Adopted: 9/2/1970
NTSB Number: AAR-70-22
NTIS Number: PB-194774

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