ASN Aircraft accident ATECO Westwind II N51CS Peoria-Greater Peoria Airport, IL (PIA)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 21 October 1971
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
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
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft 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
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

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 5 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


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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