Several planes have crashed in the Jacksonville area through the years. Two of the crashes, three decades apart, involved commercial planes.
The first commercial airline tragedy happened early on the morning of Dec. 21, 1955, when an Eastern Air Lines Constellation plane headed from Miami to Boston crashed trying to land at Imeson Airport. All 17 people on board, including five crew members, were killed in the fiery crash when the plane hit a clump of trees about a half mile from the airport runway, according to Newspapers.com, quoting an Associated Press story.
The plane destroyed a chicken coop and an unoccupied house trailer, and also snapped an oak tree and damaged several pine trees. The aircraft’s wings were sheared off upon impact.
On March 16, 1963, a Stinson Navy plane belonging to the Jacksonville Navy Flying Club crashed shortly after takeoff at Herlong Field, located west of Jacksonville, according to The Associated Press. All four passengers aboard the single-engine plane were killed, according to the AP story on the Newspapers.com website.
On April 30, 1983, a Navy transport plane carrying nine passengers and six crew members crashed into the St. Johns River, killing 14 people. The aircraft was a twin-engine C131F, according to the AP via Newspapers.com. All of the occupants of the plane were based at Guantanamo in Cuba. The aircraft’s left engine caught fire, and the plane crashed into the river about 125 feet yards from the end of the runway at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station.
The second commercial crash in Jacksonville happened Dec. 6, 1984, when a Provincetown-Boston Airlines plane crashed while taking off from Jacksonville International Airport, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. All 13 passengers, including two crew members, were killed, the newspaper reported.
Jacksonville police officer Charley Hill said the plane “lost power, crashed, disintegrated and burned.”
“It took off and disappeared immediately off the radar screen,” Hill told the Journal-Constitution.
The plane wreckage was found almost two miles northwest of the airport.