Davenport, IA Commuter Plane Crashes In Field, Apr 1973
SIX KILLED IN PLANE CRASH AT DAVENPORT.
Davenport (AP) -- Six persons were killed when a twin engine commuter plane crashed in farm field just five miles short of the Davenport Municipal airport near here Thursday evening.
Authorities identified the victims as CHARLES NIXON, 37, the pilot, and GUY R. COLPO, 27, co-pilot, both of Muscatine; and passengers WILLIAM HODGSON, 43, Evanston, Ill.; RODGER WATERS, 51, Oak Brook, Ill.; ROBERT HEYMAN, 29, Royal Oak, Mich.; and PAUL ANDREWS, Montgomery, Ala.
HODGSON was director of Bandag, Inc., a Muscatine-based tire retreading and equipment manufacturing firm. He had been in Muscatine for a board meeting and was returning to the Chicago area.
The bodies were taken to a temporary morgue in an Iowa national guard hangar at the airport.
Witnesses said the right wing of the Air Iowa commuter plane folded as it soared over the WAYNE DIETZ farm at the end of Davenport Municipal airport runway late Thursday afternoon.
DIETZ, a pilot himself, said, he knew the plane would crash. "He's going to hit my house!" DIETZ said he told his son as the plane veered in the direction of their home.
"I told him to jump out of the ditch and jump into my pickup truck," DIETZ told The Associated Press.
First On Scene.
The farmer said he was one of the first persons to reach the wreckage, which was scattered through a gully and over a half-acre of field about 400 feet from his house.
"I seen a bunch of mangled bodies. Six, as far as we could count."
DIETZ' wife said she heard a hiss just prior to the crash. She said the plane crashed about 200 feet from an area in which her younger son, GARY, was standing.
She recalled that he screamed when the plane crashed and she thought something had happened to him.
Authorities said the plane was on its regular run from Muscatine to Chicago's O'Hare International airport via Davenport.
DIETZ said he believed the aircraft succumbed to a structural problem in the right wing. He said literature issued by the Federal Aviation Administration led him to that conclusion.
"It was wing failure that was the matter. As sure as I'm standing here," DIETZ said.
Cedar Rapids Gazette Iowa 1973-04-20