Peoria, IL Commuter Plane Crashes, Oct 1971


Peoria (UPI) -- A commuter airliner crashed at Greater Peoria Airport Thursday, killing all 16 passengers including the president of the company, who was at the controls.
The twin-engine Chicago and Southern Airlines turboprop hit power lines 75 feet from the ground before plunging through rain and fog and landing in a hedge in a farm field four to five miles west of the airport.
The plane bounced and spun into a tree and exploded into a fireball.
"I heard the plane in trouble all at once like it opened wide up," ROBERT R. JOHNSON, a farmer who lived nearby said. "It sounded like it blew up."
"The black smoke went higher and higher. I could see blazes. Then -- bang just like dynamite of a strip mine," he said.
Rescue workers found all but one of the bodies of the 14 passengers and crew inside the airplane. However, one body, believed to be that of FRANK HANSEN, president of the airline and pilot, and been hurled from the main clump of the wreckage.
Flight 804, which had left Chicago's Meigs Field, had become sort of a capital special because it usually carried a large number of legislators and others to Springfield.
One victim, MORRIS J. WEXLER, former secretary of the Chicago Bar Association, was on his way to Springfield to testify before a house committee on a code for state penitentiaries.
LESTER CASE, federal aviation administration tower chief at Peoria, said HANSEN reported on difficulties in his radio communications with the airport and was instructed to make a normal landing.
Gov. RICHARD B. OGILVIE, sent one of his aides to make an inspection and report on the crash.
The FAA considered the bad weather to be the most important factor in the crash.

Marysville Journal-Tribune Ohio 1971-10-22

Air Crash Victims Identified.
Peoria, Ill. (UPI) -- The Peoria County coroner's office Friday identified the victims of the Chicago and Southern Airline plane which crashed Thursday:
FRANK HANSEN, Morris, Ill., pilot of the craft and president of the airline.
ROBERT MULLER, co-pilot.
DONALD POLLACK, personnel director, Illinois Department of Labor.
MORRIS J. WEXLER, Chicago, attorney.
EMERSON CHANDLER, Lake Forest, Illinois, a Chicago attorney.
TIMOTHY SELLECK, director of governmental affairs for the Illinois State Medical Society.
ROBERT ANDERSON, Chicago, of A. G. Becker and Co., Inc., stockbrokers.
W. CARSON, of the Exchange Travel Insurance Co., Chicago.
N. R. PETERS, St. Petersburg, Fla.
E. ANDERSON, no address given.
The following names were on the passenger list but positive identification of the bodies was not made:
ROBERT GANOBCIK, Chicago, an attorney for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
STUART WEISLER, Chicago, an attorney for the Illionis EPA.
P. THOMAS of the Christian Science Commission on Publications in Chicago.
RICHARD HOERGER, a Chicago attorney.
JOHN HENDRICKSON of A. G. Becker and Co., Inc., Chicago.