Cincinnati, OH Tri-Motor Airliner Crashes, Aug 1931

SIX DIE WHEN AIR LINER CRASHES AT CINCINNATI.

PILOT'S HEROIC EFFORT TO STOP CRACKUP FAILS.

BROKEN PROPELLER HUB CAUSING ONE ENGINE TO TEAR LOOSE, BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE.

Cincinnati, O., Aug. 10 -- (AP) -- A pilot's desperate struggle to halt the head-long plunge of a tri-motored airplane failed to prevent its crash here yesterday and six persons were carried to instant death.
The plane, bound from Cincinnati to Atlanta, Ga., had just taken off from Lunken airport when the propeller of its right-side engine came off and a moment later the engine itself tore loose and hurtled to the ground.
Out of control, the big passenger plane at once started its death dive while Pilot M. T. ODELL, 23, Cincinnati, frantically strove to right it.
Witnesses said ODELL apparently attempted to land the plane in a corn field at the edge of the Little Miami River, and failing in that, tried to head for a sand bar on the opposite side of the stream. Instead, however, it smashed into a clay bank, turned over nose first, tore out the entire front end, and killed all.
The victims were:
MISS WRENNA B. HUGHES, 22, Fort Thomas, Ky.
WILLIAM E. KEITH, Atlanta, Ga.
W. H. BRIMBERRY, Atlanta, Ga.
V. O. BAUM, 39, Memphis, Tenn.,
WILLIAM J. DeWALD, 32, Fort Thomas, Ky., co-pilot.
M. T. ODELL, pilot.
Airport officials said the accident was caused by a broken hub on the propeller. When the blade came off, the motor revolved at such a terrific speed its fastening bolts were unable to hold it. Department of commerce inspectors said they would report to Washington officials but agreed the broken propeller hub was the cause. The plane had left the airport hardly one minute and was up about 500 feet when the accident occurred.
The plane was operated by the Embry-Riddle division of the American Airways.
The usual inspection of the plane was made before the trip and everything was found to be in good condition, airport officials said. Stanley C. Hoffman, general operations manager of the line, and Frank Ware, maintenance manager, said every precaution had been taken in preparing the plane for its take off.

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune 1931-08-10