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Chicago, IL Plane Crashes On Landing, Dec 1940

United Air Lines and the Civil Aeronautics Authority ordered investigators to the scene and a police guard was thrown about the wreckage pending their arrival. FRANK CALDWELL, chief of the CAA's accident investigating section, left Washington last night by train. Air line officials said the investigation was scheduled for 2 p.m. today. It was the second fatal accident in the 10-year history of the line's Cleveland-Chicago flight.

Airport radio operators were in communication with the plane as it approached the field from the south. Just seconds before the crash, the control tower reported seeing the plane's lights "flicker" and then the ship was lost. The pilot had been flying blind, by instrument, because of a 1,000 foot ceiling, the radio operators said. They said snow did not impair vision below that altitude.
The plane again was sighted as it broke through the mist preparatory to landing. Then the motor began sputtering, a witness said, and the plane slipped rapidly toward ground. It tore through a cordon of power lines and threw the field and surrounding area into darkness.

A crash was heard as the giant craft smashed the corner from the top of a two story frame house. The ship's left wing and both motors were pulled free by the impact.

The motorless plane, with fuselage and one wing intact, plummeted to ground in an alley way against a garage and bounced over on its topside. Flames ate at the nose of the ship, but did not reach the fuselage and none of the occupants was burned.

Persons in the neighborhood who heard the crash rushed to the plane. They pulled the bodies of the pilot and co-pilot from the cabin and attendants from the airport assisted in removing the other occupants. Four were dead and MISS SELBY and MOORE died at the hospital.

Witnesses said the front of the plane had been pushed back against the fuselage, one wing -- the left -- was torn away and the right wing twisted. There was little fire damage, this witness said. Police covered the wreckage with a tarpaulin after the occupants were carried away.

Oelwein Daily Register Iowa 1940-12-05

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