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Last updated: 6 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 26 August 1953
Type:Silhouette image of generic CVLP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Convair CV-340-31
Operator:United Airlines
Registration: N73133
MSN: 70
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 24
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 27
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Michigan City, IN (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW), United States of America
Destination airport:Detroit-Willow Run Airport, MI (YIP/KYIP), United States of America
United Flight 314 (a CV-340) and American Flight 714 (a CV-240) both took off from Midway runway 22L around 19:00. Both crews had filed VFR flight plans using Airway Red 12 after takeoff and a cruising level of 11000 feet. While cruise power was being set by the United first officer, the captain caught a glimpse of the American plane in front of him and in an effort to pass under the CV-240, rolled the pitch control of the autopilot forward. Almost at that moment both aircraft made contact. The top of United's fuselage over the right side of the cockpit struck the lower portion of American's fuselage slightly forward of the tail group as United passed under the climbing American aircraft from left to right. The United aircraft landed safely at South Bend, and the American Convair returned safely to Chicago.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The primary cause of this accident was the failure of the United crew to observe and avoid the American aircraft while overtaking it on a converging course from the left and rear. However, the American crew demonstrated a lack of alertness in not observing United prior to passing and while abeam."

» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest, Circular 39-AN/34 (100-106))


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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-Midway Airport, IL to Detroit-Willow Run Airport, MI as the crow flies is 350 km (219 miles).

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