Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 memorial

9 September 1969

London, IN

You may also bookmark this site at its official mirror, www.allegheny853.net

From the memorial service for the 40th anniversary of the crash: 9/9/09

What happened to me on my attempt to re-create
Bob Carey's flight on the 30th anniversary of the crash

Help me support this memorial website

Family members only, please

What in the world, you may wonder, is this accident doing on my page? Come on, a four-decades-old accident? I mean, who cares any more, right?

Well, there are a couple of reasons:

First, this accident happened very close to where I live. In fact, it's still the worst aviation accident in Indiana history. Since I'm very interested in anything having to do with my home state, and since I love to fly (as passenger and pilot), of course this accident became something for me to want very much to look into.

Second, this is an extremely unusual accident, in that a collision between a very small single-engine Piper and a much larger DC-9 resulted in the loss of both aircraft and everyone aboard them. There are just not many of this kind of accident (most notably, that of PSA182 in September 1978), where this bad a situation occurs from the collision of such mismatched aircraft.

Third, people do still care - or at least, they should. Nowadays, when planes crash and people die, there are internet-based support groups, huge litigation possibilities, and seemingly endless streams of social and psychological help available for the victims' families. This is as it should be, but was not the case back in 1969, even though the loss of loved ones did not hurt those families any less. All victims of tragedies, from every location and time, deserve to be remembered; it is very narrow-minded and selfish of us to think that because terrible things happen(ed) to people who speak a different language than us, or who live(d) in a different decade than we do, that their feelings are somehow rendered less consequential by those superficial anthropological or temporal differences.

Finally, this accident was found by the NTSB to be "no fault". As pilots, we are trained to fully understand that there is no way a mid-air should ever be no-fault; the fact that it happened in the first place is a priori evidence that due diligence in "see-and-avoid" was not being practiced. This fact alone should be enough to cause any pilot to take an interest in the facts of the case.

I have done a lot of research into this crash, but there is still much more to do. While my primary goal is to provide a memorial page to those who were killed, the technical aspects of this tragedy will also continue to remain of interest to aviators. Steps have been taken to ensure that accidents of this type never happen again, but those steps were not in place on September 9, 1969.

Materialism and money should rightfully have no place on this site, but at times in the past I have had to seriously consider shutting down my site as a personal cost-cutting measure. Instead of doing that, I've decided to do the next-least terrible thing, and ask if people who think this site has a place on the Internet will please come forward, even with only a dollar, to help defray the costs of maintaining this site (about $50 a month). It's NOT for me to make a profit, trust me. But I simply must ask. If you can help, please do so by clicking the icon below. If not, then no worries - please go right on to the story of this tragedy. Thanks for understanding why I had to put this here!

The Story

The Victims

Memorial Page



1999-2014 Dan McGlaun