St. Louis, MO Cargo Plane Crash, May 1953



St. Louis (AP) -- A non-scheduled DC-3 cargo plane carrying an engine to Oklahoma City crashed in a heavy fog Sunday while trying to land here for fuel. Six persons were killed and one critically injured.
Five of the victims died instantly in the crash. The sixth succumbed to his injuries almost 10 hours later.
The crash occurred with visibility and ceiling both at zero.
The dead included the two crew members and four other Meteor Air Transport, Inc., employes, one of them a stewardess on a flight from Teterboro, N.J., to Oklahoma. Most of the Meteor employes were "dead heading" on the trip.
The two men found alive were both mechanics. They were still strapped to their seats in the tangled wreckage. Hours later mechanic FLOYD STANLEY EVANS of Wright Village, Lodi, N.J. died about 10 hours after the crash in St. Louis county hospital. He did not regain consciousness and suffered a skull fracture.
All the dead were thrown from the plane by the impact, and the stewardess' body was found under the smashed pilot's compartment.
The dead crew members were Capt. HAROLD CARR, 30, pilot, White Plains, N.Y., and co-pilot EDWARD V. RAFFERY, 25, Elmsford, N.Y.
The other dead were identified as Capt. ERNEST J. FORBES RANKIN, 41, pilot, his co-pilot, ARTHUR RAVETZ, 28, and stewardess ANN MARIE DELICATA, 23, all of New York City.
The injured man who still survived was JOHN SWART, 32, of Haskell, N.J., company maintenance supervisor, who was to install the engine in Oklahoma City.
The crash occurred at 4:18 a.m. (CST). The plane was going into the St. Louis Municipal Airport for fuel and was making an instrument approach when one of the engines quit.
Airport officials here believed the plane may have run out of gasoline while circling the airfield. The fact that the plane did not burn after the crash indicated that there was no fuel left they said.
Airport control tower officials said they lost radio contact with the plane after it had been circling the field for some time. They immediately alerted all local police for a possible crash.
Five minutes later, an answer came from James Weber, chief of the suburban Berkeley police force.
While patroling near the airport, Weber sighted the tail of the plane through the fog. It stuck up from a field about one-quarter mile from the nearest road.

Wisconsin State Journal Madison 1953-05-25


meteor air transport crash

original caa accident report states there was plenty of fuel onboard in the main tanks (the r/h eng fuel selector was in the r/h aux position) however the right aux had only 10 gals of fuel which uncovered the fuel feed line in the final l/h turn resulting in a loss of the r/h eng at low airspeed ending in an aerodynamic stall.