The Flying Tiger Line lost four airplanes to crashes with fatalities in 1962. All four were Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellations. A total of 141 lives were lost on board the four aircraft and three lives were lost of people on the ground.
The information comes from the database of the Aviation Safety Network (www.aviation-safety.net), which is a service of the Flight Safety Foundation (www.flightsafety.org). Only crashes with fatalities are recorded.
In fairness, the Flying Tigers had no fatal crashes during the two years leading up to unlucky 1962 (1960 and 1961). There were none in 1963 and one in 1964 on December 24. That crash also involved a Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation.
Here is a summary of the 1962 events: (Note: All were Flying Tiger Line Lockheed L-1049H models. Take note of the registration number of the aircraft involved.)
15 March 1962 – Registration number: N6911C
Total airframe hours: 16,038
Location: Adak Island, Alaska
Departure Airport: Cold Bay, Alaska
Destination Airport: Adak Island, Alaska
Fatalities: 1 out of 7 occupants
Nature: Military Air Transport Service (MATS charter
Flight Number: 7816
16 March 1962 – Registration number: N6921C
Total airframe hours: 17,224
Location: Adak Island
Departure Airport: Guam- Agana
Destination Airport: Angeles City, Clark AB, Philippines
Fatalities: 107 out of 107 occupants
Nature: Military Air Transport Service (MATS charter)
Flight Number: 739
23 September 1962 – Registration number: N6923C
Total airframe hours: 15,800
Location: Atlantic Ocean, 500 miles west of Shannon, IE
Departure Airport: Gander, Newfoundland
Destination Airport: Frankfurt International Airport, Germany
Fatalities: 28 out of 76 occupants
Nature: Military Air Transport Service (MATS charter)
Flight Number: 923
14 December 1962 – Registration number: N6913C
Total airframe hours: 20,269
Location: 1.3 miles W of Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, CA
Departure Chicago-O’Hare International, Chicago, IL
Destination Airport: Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, CA
Fatalities: 5 out of 5 occupants and 3 on the ground
Flight Number: 183
The data has not been measured against the total number of flights that year and total number of passengers and crew the Flying Tigers carried that year. 1962 may have been an exceptionally busy year. It certainly was an unlucky one.
Some speculate as to the possible common thread between the disasters (beyond official hearings and reports). The most common speculation is a reduction of maintenance due to pressure to get planes in the air, especially with regard to moving troops.
The Aviation Safety Network reports that our aircraft, Flight 923, #N6923C, had its first flight in 1958. It was equipped with 4 Wright R-3350-988-TC18-EA6 engines and had a total of 15,800 air frame hours.
For details of these crashes click: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19620923-0
Thanks Fred, hope everything is good with you so that you can continue to send this information.
Fred / Carol : After more than 50 years since flying as a navigator with FTL my memories of flying on two of the four A/C that were lost in 1962 came flooding back all spured by hearing Carol recount her experiences at last year’s FTLPA convention.
During 1962 I had over 160 hours in 923 and 913 over Mid and North Pacific routes. The loss of 913 was also the night of the loss of a good friend, Karl Rader, with whom I had spent time with hunting and fishing in Cold Bay during our stay overs.
In 1964 I changed careers, obtained my pilot’s license and have since flown over 8,000 hours in the left seat.
The six years flying for the Marine Corps and FTL provided me a great background within which to continue to use flying to further my business career. More importantly I had the pleasure of meeting and flying with my childhood hero’s of the Flying Tigers like Dick Rossi, Gil Bright, Ed Rector and Bob Neale.
Safe journeys to you,
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I flew on A Flying Tiger airplane in March 1958.
I was an Ait Force Airmen being assigned to Anderson AFB, Guam. We left Travis AFB Ca with a short stop over in Hawaii and Wake Island.
It was my first flight and we flew over the Golden Gate Bridge as we departed the U. S.
I have never read a more riveting story than Tiger in the Sea and it was given to me by my youngest son who knew I would have an interest as I was an Air Force officer at Clark Air Base in September, 1962,when Tiger 739 departed Guam bound for Clark and never made it–lost without a trace about an hour out of Clark!! A massive search ensued and there was apparently a cover thrown over the whole thing as everything we were doing in Vietnam at that time was highly classified. The flight was ultimately bound for Saigon after a stopover at Clark. My utmost admiration to Eric Lindner for a story worthy of being told.Dick Stanland, 1st. Lt., Clark AFB, 1961-1963
Mr. Stanland: In March 1962 I was in the Navy and a Shipmate and I were on that flight with orders to VAP-61 at NAS AGANA GUAM. We off-loaded there. We got word shortly after, that the plane was missing. The Navy and Air Force sent out search parties, but never found anything. Had my friend and I been on orders to the P.I. we would not be alive today. Lots of rumors were going around that the plane was blown up or hijacked because there were some high ranking Vietnam military and civilians onboard.