Flying Tiger Line Flight 282

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Flying Tiger Flight 282
Accident summary
Date December 24, 1964
Summary Pilot error, Controlled flight into terrain
Site San Bruno, California, United States
37°37′26″N 122°27′53″W / 37.62389°N 122.46472°W / 37.62389; -122.46472Coordinates: 37°37′26″N 122°27′53″W / 37.62389°N 122.46472°W / 37.62389; -122.46472
Passengers 0
Crew 3
Fatalities 3
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Lockheed Super Constellation
Operator Flying Tiger Line
Registration N6915C
Flight origin San Francisco International Airport, California, United States
Destination John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, New York, United States

Flying Tiger Flight 282 refers to the crash of a Lockheed Constellation aircraft, N6915C, shortly after take-off from San Francisco International Airport in the early morning hours of Thursday, December 24, 1964.

On Wednesday, December 23, 1964, Flying Tiger Line Flight 282 arrived at San Francisco International Airport from Japan. Filled with a cargo of electronic equipment, bolts of fabric, women's scarves, bandannas, purses, and costume jewelry for the Christmas holiday, the craft was refueled and departed just after midnight with a crew of three, 41,000 pounds (19,000 kg) of cargo, 136 pounds (62 kg) of mail, and 5,000 gallons of high-octane aviation fuel.

The weather was that of heavy fog and rain. A large cold frontal system was moving onshore, and on the north coast of California heavy flooding was destroying homes. A Coast Guard helicopter had already been lost in these conditions.

Leaving just after midnight on December 24 from Runway 28, going northwest from the bay, flight 282 planned to head out over the ocean to circle and gain altitude, then travel east toward its destination of JFK International Airport in New York City. Shortly after takeoff, however, the plane veered to the left of its planned course. The pilot, Jabez A. Richards, 49, of Bayhead, New Jersey, asked the tower for permission to change his radio setting from takeoff to departure frequency. With him were Daniel W. Hennessy, 33, of Hillsborough, California, as co-pilot, and Paul M. Entz, 37, of North Hollywood, California, as flight engineer. Seconds later, the plane vanished from the tower's radar scope.

The "Super Connie" crashed near the top of Sweeney Ridge in San Bruno, very close to the site of a Coast Guard radio station. All three crew members aboard were killed. No one on the ground was killed or injured.

The Civil Aeronautics Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was that the pilot, for undetermined reasons, deviated from departure course into an area of rising terrain, where downdraft activity and turbulence affected the ability of the craft to climb.

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