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Accident description
Last updated: 14 December 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 21 October 1971
Time:12:20
Type:Silhouette image of generic B18T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
ATECO Westwind II
Operator:Chicago & Southern Airlines
Registration: N51CS
C/n / msn: BA-211
First flight: 1956
Total airframe hrs:7751
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3,2 km (2 mls) W of Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, IL (PIA) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Chicago-Merrill C Meigs Field, IL (CGX/KCGX), United States of America
Destination airport:Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, IL (PIA/KPIA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 804
Narrative:
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.

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 5 Safety Recommendations

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Map
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.

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ATECO Westwind II

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