Mid-air collision Accident Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain N33TN,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 13600
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Date:Thursday 11 January 1979
Time:11:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
Owner/operator:Nash & Tamposi Real Estate Development
Registration: N33TN
MSN: 31-7305050
Year of manufacture:1973
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Templeton, Worcester County, Massachusetts -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Concord Municipal Airport, Concord, New Hampshire (CON/KCON)
Destination airport:Westchester County Airport, White Plains, New York (HPN/KHPN)
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Written off (destroyed) 11 January 1979 in a Mid-air collision with Aerostar 600 N8022J over Templeton, Worcester County, Massachusetts. All three persons on board the Piper PA-31 (pilot and two passengers) were killed as were the two persons on board the Aerostar 600. According to the official NTSB report into the accident: "Pilots in command failed to see and avoid the other aircraft. No anti-collision lights fitted or used". According to a contemporary news paper report ("The Chronicle Telegram" Elyria, Ohio, January 12, 1979):


Templeton, Mass. (UPI) -- Two twin-engine corporate planes "bumped" in mid-air Thursday, plummeted to the ground and exploded, killing as many as five persons. One plane fell into a hilly wooded area in north-central Massachusetts about one-half mile from Gardner Airport and the second crashed into a frozen swamp about 400 yards from the airport runway. Only the tail of the plane which went into the swamp was showing above the ice.

State Police confirmed at least three dead and said two more persons were believed to be aboard the aircraft."We have a tentative list of (five) identities, but we cannot release it by law," a state police spokesman said. He said positive identification of the victims was made difficult because both planes were "completely demolished" when they crashed and exploded."We don't have bodies. We just have pieces of bodies," said Sgt. WAYNE HARDING.

Rescue workers were searching the woods and swamp for remains of other victims. State aeronautics officials said one plane had the capacity to hold six people and the other could hold seven. DAVID GRAHAM, a Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission inspector, said the collision happened during "super clear" visibility. One of the planes, a Piper Navajo, was owned by the Nash-Tamposi real estate development company of Nashua, New Hampshire. The other plane, an Aerostar, was owned by Northeast Celluloid Co. of Boylston.

"It is pretty clear that two aircraft came together, bumped and then hit the ground. You have to assume that they just didn't see each other," GRAHAM said. State police said they found parts of two badly burned bodies in the area where the plane hit the hill."

Registration N33TN cancelled by the FAA on May 6, 1981

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: 
Report number: NYC79FA017
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. NTSB Identification: NYC79FA017 at https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=36793&key=0
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=33TN
3. http://www.planecrashinfo.com/1979/1979-1.htm
4. http://planecrashmap.com/plane/ma/N33TN/
5. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1979/archives/crash-of-a-piper-pa-31-navajo-chieftain-in-massachusetts-3-killed/]
6. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/103829203
7. http://www.gendisasters.com/massachusetts/4598/templeton%2C-ma-planes-collide-mid-air%2C-jan-1979

Revision history:

25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
22-Aug-2010 06:23 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
26-Dec-2013 14:29 Anon. Updated [Departure airport]
10-May-2015 18:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Sep-2017 00:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
26-Sep-2017 00:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
26-Sep-2017 00:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
29-Oct-2019 16:47 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type]

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