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Last updated: 28 October 2021
Datum:Donnerstag 21 Oktober 1971
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic B18T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
ATECO Westwind II
Fluggesellschaft:Chicago & Southern Airlines
Kennzeichen: N51CS
Werknummer: BA-211
Baujahr: 1956
Triebwerk: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 2 / Insassen: 2
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 14 / Insassen: 14
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 16 / Insassen: 16
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:3,2 km (2 Meilen) W of Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, IL (PIA) (   USA)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:Chicago-Merrill C Meigs Field, IL (CGX/KCGX), USA
Flug nach:Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, IL (PIA/KPIA), USA
Flugnummer: 804
Chicago & Southern Airlines Flight 804 was destroyed in an accident near Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, Illinois. All sixteen on board were killed.
The aircraft made initial contact with powerlines which cross the midpoint of the instrument final approach course, approximately 3,2 km west of runway 12 of the Greater Peoria Airport. The aircraft thereafter contacted the ground, bounced and slid into the base of a large hedgewood tree 152 feet from the point of initial wire contact. An intense fire ensued which almost completely destroyed the cockpit and cabin area of the fuselage.

The ATECO Westwind II airplane was a Beechcraft E18S that was converted with a 7 feet fuselage extension and fitted with tricycle landing gear and turboprop engines.

Probable Cause:

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was that the pilot knowingly descended below the Minimum Descent Altitude in an attempt to complete the approach by means of visual reference to ground objects. Because of minimal visibility and low clouds in the approach zone, the aircraft was operated at an altitude too low to provide clearance over the powerlines.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 181 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-72-15
Download report: Final report


NTSB issued 5 Safety Recommendations

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photo of ATECO-Westwind-II-N51CS

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Chicago-Merrill C Meigs Field, IL to Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, IL as the crow flies is 218 km (136 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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