New York City, NY Airliner Crashes On Takeoff, Sep 1970


New York (UPI) -- Kennedy International Airport was preparing for its crunch of late afternoon flights. KEVIN JENNINGS glanced into the sky at a routine sight -- a plane taking off.
Suddenly he saw "shots .... sparks" and the DC8 banked and "disappeared into the ground."
Eleven crew members including seven stewardesses were killed when the Trans International Airline (TIA) charter, being ferried to Washington to pick up 250 young European passengers, crashed near Jamaica Bay and exploded into flames. There were no survivors.
The airport was closed for more than two hours while firemen doused the flames. Extra foam used in fighting aircraft fires was rushed from LaGuardia Airport. More than a dozen incoming flights were diverted to Boston while outgoing flights had to wait at Kennedy terminals.
GEORGE A. VAN EPPS, chief of the National Transportation Board's Bureau of Safety, said the voice and flight recordings aboard the jet had been recovered. "This should being significent evidence," VAN EPPS said. "As soon as we get the answers to the very steep roll and what witnesses described, federal investigators should have more concrete evidence as to what caused the crash." VAN EPPS said in a report should be made in about two weeks.
One witness, SAFDAR RASHID of Pakistan, who had just arrived on another flight, said, "It wavered, it staggared, it fell off on its left side and crashed nose down, exploding on impact. It was a sheet of flame and that was the end. It took no more than six seconds."
A spokesman for TIA, a subsidiary of Transamerica Corp., said, it was the first crash in the company's 22 year history. TIA is a supplemental airline specializing in international charter and military contract flights.
The 250 passengers to be picked up in Washington were young people from Europe who had spend the summer working in the United States. They were headed back home.
The dead, all from the San Francisco area, were identified as Capt. JOSEPH MAY, First Officer JOHN LOEFFLER, Engineer DONALD NEELEY, Navigator WARREN McNAUGHTON, and the seven stewardesses, IRMGARD RUSSO, DIANNE BEASLEY, BARBARA LEWIS, JULIET LOREA, MARGARETA LEWENHAUPT, MARCIA HANIFIN and LINDA BRENNAN.

The Daily Courier Connellsville Pennsylvania 1970-09-09


cousin Dianne Beasley

In researching Beasley family history I found your comment on the airplane crash that killed Dianne Beasley. I knew her as Dianna. I was a year younger than her. I just found her mother's full name, Nellie Ermal Wright. She married my uncle, Mason Beasley.

I was one of the 256 British

I was one of the 256 British students waiting at Dullies International and it was so unreal. We had been working at summer camps with Camp America, I'd been at the 4-H in Averill Park NYS. The flight home (from Philadelphia) was so emotional and the cabin staff were in civies(not in uniform) and tearfful. When we landed at the then small Gatwick airport we were greeted by a British bobby(policeman) who had a bicycle and cycle clips around his trouser bottoms. Even more unreal. So sad that so many died just helping us to get home.

TIA's disastrous crash at JFK

I was a TIA F/A at JFK at the time of the 863T's horrible demise. We crew were on another TIA DC-8, awaiting passengers when we saw the billowing smoke. We asked our 'pit what it was, knowing full well they had radio contact with the tower. They wouldn't tell us; said they didn't know. The damn fools thought that since we were women we'd become hysterical. Well they were dead wrong. One of us had a transistor radio and we found out that it was one of our own planes. Linda Brennan (on that ill-fated flight) had been in my class in ground school and was a lovely person. That crew had brought us the aircraft we were currently on, awaiting the passengers we were to take to Madrid, so it was easy to identify the 63Tango's crew. We hitched rides into the terminal on catering vehicles, or maybe fueling trucks; I don't remember, to call our loved ones. We were stoic. We were professionals, after all. It wasn't till much later that we allowed ourselves to grieve.

Saw it

My father worked for United Airlines at the time and witnessed the crash from the ground while waiting on the employee shuttle bus that ran along the gate area. The popping sounds from the engines caused him look up and see the engines flame out just before the plane took a nose down dive. The thing that got to me the most when hearing the story years later was his description of being able to see a persons face(presumably one of the flight attendants) in the window looking out in the final moments just before the jet struck the pavement.

TIA AirLine Crash 1970

Although it has been 45 years since the passing of my sister Juliet Loera (one of the stewardesses in the crash)I will always remember her as being a very loving and caring person. Being my older and only sister of five years I am sure that she had to put up with me and my three other brothers for a long time as we were growing up. Now that shes in Heaven I feel that she is still looking after us all from above. Thank you sis for being such a loving humanbeing. We all miss you!

my cousin

Been looking for Diane Beasley for a while. Now I found her, my grandfather Truman E Wright was her uncle, they all lived on Patten st (evergreen & 7 mile Detroit MI)

thank you Cameron

Thank you so much Cameron
These little tidbits of miscellaneous information I find fascinating ..
Thank you for sharing

TIA Crash

Hi Stu, here's a bit of info on one of the stewardesses from this crash. When I was in flight attendant training with another airline, one of my class mates was a former TIA stewardess who used to fly with Irmgard Russo. She told me Irmgard's claim to fame was, she would work in the back galley, and remove her fake fingernails, and take a strip of tape and attach all 10 fingernails to the galley counter, so we would not forget them after meal service!

most welcome

you are very very welcome. Thank you for being a 'fan' of GenDisasters site ..

NY airliner crashes on takeoff

Thanks for posting this. Until now it was just a disturbing story I heard. Now it's real. Great site!