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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 13445
Last updated: 2 December 2020
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Date:09-AUG-1974
Time:17:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche
Owner/operator:Daniel Ludwig
Registration: N8129Y
C/n / msn: 30-1241
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3/8 mile NE of Jackson Municipal Airport, Jackson, Minnesota -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Waterloo Municipal Airport, Waterloo, Iowa (ALO/KALO)
Destination airport:Jackson Municipal Airport, Jackson, Minnesota (MJQ/KMJQ)
Narrative:
Written off (destroyed) August 9, 1974 when the aircraft stalled and struck the ground about 3/8 mile north east of Jackson Municipal Airport, Jackson, Minnesota (at approximate Coordinates 43°39′00″N 094°59′12″W). Aircraft Observed in flight at low altitude, descending for a low pass over Runway 13/31. The weather was poor and the aircraft crashed just short of the runway. The cause was sited as pilot error and poor radio communications. All six persons on board (pilot and five passengers) were killed. Four of the passenger fatalities were members of the jazz-rock band "Chase".

According to the following published report (compiled from contemporary newspapers)

"Jackson County Pilot” Newspaper August 14, 1974

Plane tragedy near Jackson ends career of Bill Chase

The crash of a light plane Friday night just northeast of the Jackson Airport runway took the lives of six people, including four members of a Rock Band called “Chase.”

The crash was discovered about 8:30 a.m. Saturday by George Worshek and Dave Deel, Sr., who were looking for the downed craft. It was located approximately 300 yards northeast of the airport runway in a soybean field belonging to Leland Fransen.

The group was scheduled to play at a Rock Concert at the Jackson County Fair Friday night. The other four members of the group arrived by a car, along with the road crew, and when the remainder of the group didn’t arrive, they assumed they had landed at the airport in Cherokee, Iowa., where a similar plane had landed earlier.

Killed in the crash were Bill Chase, 35, Chicago, Ill., leader of the group; Walter Clark, 25, drummer from Williamstown, NJ.; Wallace Yohn, 27, organist, Scottsdale, Ariz.; John Emma, 22, guitar, Geneva, Ill.; the pilot Daniel Ludwig, 41, Chicago, and his secretary, Linda Swisher, 26, Wheeling, Ill.

Four of the passengers were inside the craft, which did not burn, and bodies of the other two, including Bill Chase, were found outside the plane. Investigators said the victims appeared to have died instantly.

The group took off about 2 p.m. in the twin engine Comanche from Chicago where they had filed a flight plan Friday. According to Dean Anderson, manager of the Jackson Airport, “there are flight service stations along the way, our nearest one is Redwood Falls, where flyers may file flight plans. As soon as he reaches the next flight service station on his route the pilot cancels so the ground control there knows he is beyond their station”.

Flight plans include each flight service station along the way as well as estimated time of arrival. The plane was last heard from in a position east of Waterloo, Ia., about 5:30 p.m. Friday. Anderson reported he heard an aircraft go over about 6 p.m. An alert was issued for the missing plane from the Minneapolis Center about an hour after it had last been heard from.

“Chase” had been together for nearly three and one-half years, although there have been several personnel changes within that time. The jazz-rock group had recorded three albums entitled “Chase”, “Ennea” and “Pure Music”. According to the group’s manager, “Chase” had been most popular in the Midwest and had performed at several concerts in Minnesota including Worthington and Rochester.

Jackson County Sheriff Jerry Benjamin said that “everyone has their ideas on what happened.” However, nothing has been forthcoming from Federal Aeronautics officials. Both Anderson and Benjamin noted that the crash would be studied and analyzed and it would probably be a year or more before it would be released for public record. All officials had left Jackson Monday afternoon.

Sheriff Benjamin commended such people as the Jackson Fire Department and Rescue Unit, Jackson Police, the ambulances and all the guards for their assistance. The bodies of the victims were taken to Sioux Falls Sunday night and Monday morning and flown to their respective homes for burial."

According to the following excerpt from the official NTSB report into the accident:

"PROBABLE CAUSE(S)
PILOT IN COMMAND - FAILED TO OBTAIN/MAINTAIN FLYING SPEED - IMPROPER IFR OPERATION - INADEQUATE PRE FLIGHT PREPARATION AND/OR PLANNING
FACTOR(S)
WEATHER - LOW CEILING - RAIN - TURBULENCE, ASSOCIATED W/CLOUDS AND/OR THUNDERSTORMS"

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: MKC75AK011 at https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=39141&key=0
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=8129Y
3. http://planecrashmap.com/plane/mn/N8129Y/
4. http://www.jacksoncountypilot.com/Stories/StoryPrint.cfm?SID=21048
5. http://www.gendisasters.com/minnesota/9288/jackson-mn-airplane-crash-kills-trumpeter-bill-chase-amp-others-aug-1974
6. http://www.angelfire.com/music5/archives/ChaseNTSB.html
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chase_(band)
8. http://elvispelvis.com/airplanecrash.htm#1
9. http://planecrashinfo.com/famous1970s.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
05-Feb-2017 16:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Feb-2017 16:49 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator]

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