1985 Teterboro collision

The 1985 Teterboro collision occurred on November 10, 1985, when a Dassault Falcon 50 executive jet belonging to Nabisco Brands Inc. and a Piper Cherokee collided over Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Six people died in the accident: all five aboard both aircraft and one person on the ground; another eight were injured.

1985 Teterboro collision
DateNovember 10, 1985 (1985-11-10)
SummaryMid-air collision
SiteTeterboro, New Jersey
40°50′42″N 74°03′40″W / 40.845°N 74.061°W / 40.845; -74.061Coordinates: 40°50′42″N 74°03′40″W / 40.845°N 74.061°W / 40.845; -74.061
Total fatalities6
Total injuries8 (on the ground)
Total survivors0 (on planes)
First aircraft
Dassault Falcon 50 AN1036689.jpg
a Dassault Falcon 50 similar to the one involved in the accident
TypeDassault Falcon 50
OperatorNabisco Brands Inc.
Flight originMorristown Municipal Airport, Morris County, New Jersey
DestinationTeterboro Airport, Teterboro, New Jersey
Second aircraft
Piper PA-28-181 Archer II AN1148553.jpg
a Piper PA-28 similar to the one involved in the accident
TypePiper PA-28-181 Archer
OperatorAir Pegasus
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities1
Ground injuries8


At approximately 5:22 p.m. the Dassault Falcon 50 and the Piper Cherokee collided as the jet approached for landing at Teterboro Airport and the Piper was flying over the airport on a west to east course. The Dassault was cleared for a standard instrument approach in visual meteorological conditions and made a left turn to position itself on the downwind leg to runway 19. The collision occurred at approximately 1,500 feet. The two aircraft fell into the residential areas of Fairview and Cliffside Park, New Jersey [1][2][3] and the subsequent impact of the aircraft into neighborhood buildings caused fires and panic.[3]

Events following the CrashEdit

During a news conference shortly after the accident, an official described the turn as an unusual course and speculated that the jet's pilot had previously reported a visual sighting of the Piper to the Teterboro tower just prior to the collision.[3]

On the night of the collision three bodies - a pilot and the bodies of Henry Nocha Sr. and his wife, Lucia - were recovered from aboard the Cherokee and taken to Bergen County Morgue. [3] Three further bodies were recovered amongst rubble during the day of the 11th, those of the pilots of the jet, Gregory L. Miller (37) and Alan K. Stitt (31).

It was confirmed that two buildings had been leveled by the jet and subsequent outbreaks of fire had destroyed four more buildings before they could be put under control.[3]


The National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded the accident was caused by a breakdown in coordination among FAA air traffic controllers and the inability of the crew of the jet to see and avoid the other aircraft, because of misleading information from air traffic control and oncoming darkness.[4] The NTSB recommended that the FAA improve communication procedures among controllers and provide training for its personnel at Teterboro to qualify the airport for an upgrade to a radar approach control system.[5][6][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "At Least 5 Killed As 2 Planes Collide Over Jersey". The New York Times. November 11, 1985.
  2. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Dassault Falcon 50 N784B Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e McFadden, Robert D. (12 November 1985). "ROUTE OF JET IN CRASH OVER JERSEY THAT KILLED 6 IS CALLED 'UNUSUAL'". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ Witkin, Richard (March 18, 1987). "'85 Plane Crash Laid to Failure by Controllers". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Safety Recommendation A-87-050". National Transportation Safety Board.
  6. ^ Safety Recommendation National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved June 15, 2018
  7. ^ Goldman, John J. (1985-11-11). "Planes Collide in N.J.; 4 Killed, 8 Injured". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-03-10.