Narrative:Douglas DC-3 N410D, registered to Hansen Air Activities, was chartered to fly 28 members of the Snow Valley Ski Lines from Pellston, MI to Chicago, IL.
The airplane departed Pellston at 21:32 with 28 passengers and the two-pilot crew. The flight from Pellston to the vicinity of the Chicago-O'Hare terminal area was described by the pilot as being smooth and uneventful. About 23:35 the crew was instructed by Chicago Approach Control to descend to 3,500 feet.
N410D was then informed that it would be provided radar vectors for an ILS approach to runway 14R. After N410D departed the Northbrook VOR, the landing gear was extended and power was increased by changing manifold pressure to 23-24 HG. Approximately 115 knots IAS was maintained.
The DC-3 was vectored behind TWA Flight 83, a Boeing 707.
The captain of N410D said that shortly after becoming established on the localizer course, the aircraft suddenly went into a violent bank to the right. As the wings were being leveled, the nose pitched up. As the nose came back down, the aircraft rolled to the left and control was difficult.
The crew radioed: "Ten Delta is in a blast of air, sir."....."We can't hold it, sir." After the "blast of air," several attempts were made to increase power but each time power was increased, the aircraft buffeted and control was difficult. Attempts to climb were made without success. He described the feeling of being in a steady downdraft. The elevator control was "light-feeling," but aileron control was normal. Airspeed was fluctuating with the pitch changes, although he was attempting to maintain 110 KIAS.
The aircraft descended and struck the ground in a flat, open area. the right wing struck a 40-foot telephone pole 3 feet above ground causing damage inboard of the right engine. Contact with the pole caused the aircraft to turn right to a heading of 285 degrees while continuing to travel in a 238-degree direction. The aircraft slid into an occupied dwelling, coming to rest with the nose in the rear wall of the attached garage and the left wing embedded in the rear wall of the house. None of the six occupants of the house were injured.
There was no fire and passengers exited through the main cabin door and the emergency exits.
At the time of the accident, Frank D. Hansen, doing business as Hansen Air Activities, was registered with the FAA as the owner of the aircraft. Subsequently, on March 12, 1964, Midco Leasing, Inc., filed an application dated March 6, 1964, for a certificate of registration as the owner of the aircraft. Neither organization possessed an FAA certificate authorizing the operation of large aircraft for compensation or hire.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the crew to utilize available de-icing equipment and engine power to maintain positive control of the aircraft under conditions of rapid airframe ice accretion and vortex induced turbulence."
Loss of control
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.16, Circular 82-AN/69 (85-89)
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 Pellston-Emmet County Airport, MI to Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL as the crow flies is 468 km (292 miles).