Chicago, IL Plane Crashes On Landing, Dec 1940
TWO MORE DEAD BRING TOTAL TO 8 IN CRASH.
PLANE CRASH AT CHICAGO FATAL TO 8 PERSONS.
UNITED AIR LINES "MAIN LINER" CRASHED LAST NIGHT DURING BAD WEATHER.
Chicago, Dec. 5. -- (UP) -- Eight persons were dead and a ninth dying today as the Civil Aeronautics Board, the coroner and company officials attempted to learn what caused a 12-ton United Air Lines "Main Liner" to crash last night within two blocks of the municipal airport.
Investigation was focused on weather conditions at the time of the accident. Although the ship carried de-icing equipment, its crumpled wings and tail surfaces bore a quarter inch of ice. In descending from 5,000 feet for a landing, the plane flew for seven minutes in "icing conditions," according to ALLEN BONNALIE, assistant to the United Air Lines vice-president of operations.
Too much ice breaks the smooth flow of air over airplane wing surfaces and causes it to be less maneuverable, especially in turns. The position in which the plane struck and crashed indicated the pilot was banking sharply to come into the airport's northwest runway when the craft lost flying speed, clipped a house and garage and struck facing directly opposite to the projected landing course.
A United Air Lines spokesman said however, that preliminary investigation indicated the plane dropped off on one wing when it stalled for lack of flying speed during its normal glide toward the runway. The wing clipped the house and caused the ship to "cartwheel," he said. He doubted that the pilot was turning close to the runway.
United officials said "evidence indicates that immediately after the accident there was only a minor amount of ice on the airplane." They said a quarter-inch of ice should not have prevented a safe landing and pointed out other liners landed a few minutes, earlier in the same conditions. One of the problems being investigated was to determine the speed of the ill fated plane as it came in for a landing and whether landing was attempted close to the ground at low speed.
Four passengers and the two pilots died in the impact. Two more passengers died of injuries at the hospital this morning. MISS. FLORENCE LITTLE, the 22-year-old stewardess, was in an extremely critical condition and not expected to live. Seven passengers suffered serious so critical injuries.
The latest two to die were CHARLES W. MANVILLE, 38, Cleveland, sales director for the National Refining Co., and KELLER MELTON, 40, Chicago, Federal Works Administration engineer. They died at Holy Cross Hospital.
The giant ship, a twin-motored Douglas DC-3 carrying 13 passengers and three crew members, suddenly lost altitude as it approached the field from its regular New York run, ripped through a network of power lines and plunged in an alley after tearing of a corner from a small house.