Chicago and Southern Flight 4
|Date||August 5 1936|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain due to pilot error|
|Site||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Aircraft type||Lockheed Model 10 Electra|
|Aircraft name||City of Memphis|
|Operator||Chicago and Southern Air Lines|
|Flight origin||Lambert St. Louis Airport, St. Louis, United States|
|Destination||Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois,|
Chicago and Southern Air Lines Flight 4 was a regularly scheduled flight from New Orleans, Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois, via Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, operated with a Lockheed Model 10 Electra. On August 5, 1936, after departing from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the flight crashed in a farm field near the Missouri River. All 6 passengers and 2 crew members were killed in the crash.
The Lockheed Electra was on a flight from New Orleans to Chicago. After having left New Orleans at 5:30 PM, it proceeded normally to Jackson, Memphis and St. Louis. It departed St. Louis at 10PM, and was scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 12:55 AM.
The aircraft departed St. Louis and proceeded on a northerly track towards the Missouri River. Five minutes after departure, all radio contact was lost with the aircraft. Chicago and Southern’s company radio controller made repeated attempts to contact the flight, and then notified the Chicago station, informing them of the missing aircraft.
Farmers in the vicinity of the aircraft’s last radio contact were contacted, and began a search for the aircraft, believing an accident had occurred. Within several hours the aircraft was located, in a farm field near the Missouri River. Seven of the plane’s eight occupants were found within 50 feet of the wreckage; the remaining passenger was found still in the cabin. All of the victims showed signs of massive impact trauma, and were believed killed instantly.
The weather in the area had been reported as clear, except for in the vicinity of the river, where heavy ground fog was present. Preliminary reports believed the ground fog to have been a factor.
Upon examination of the wreckage, it was found that the plane had, for unknown reasons, been in a low turn near the ground, and the wingtip made contact with the terrain, causing the aircraft to impact the ground. The reason for the low-altitude turn was unknown.