Kansas City, MO Airplane Crashed into Building, Jan 1964
Plane Wreckage Showers Downtown Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) â€“ Two men were doing paper work in the temporary baggage shed behind the Continental Trailways bus station Saturday night when a body hurtled through the roof.
A man stepped outside the bus station at 1021 McGee St., and parts of an airplane fluttered down a few feet in front of him.
A few seconds earlier a single-engine, red and white Mooney Mark 20 aircraft had crashed into the 28th floor of the South-western Bell Telephone Co. a block away at 11th and Oak streets. The bodies of the four occupants and pieces of the plane were strewn over rooftops on both sides of McGee Street to the west of the telephone building. Five buildings were hit by parts of the wreckage.
The victims were JACK DAVID GORHAM, 29, the pilot; LAWRENCE G. TRAPP, 32; his wife, HELEN, and their 2 Â½-year-old son, WILLIAM LEROY TRAPP, all of Kansas City.
The crash occurred at 5:30 p. m., closing time of downtown stores. The plane was groping its way through snow, fog and darkness and apparently was preparing to land at either the Fairfax Airport of Municipal Air Terminal, both more than a mile from the crash scene.
GORHAM'S body hurtled through the baggage shed. The bodies of MRS. TRAPP and her son landed on the roof of a one-story building at the northwest corner of 11th and McGee. TRAPP'S body was found on top of the adjoining, seven-story YWCA building.
GORHAM and TRAPP were next-door neighbors and both were aircraft mechanics for Trans World Airlines. GORHAM also worked part time for Aircraft Industrial Services, Inc., owner of the plane.
GORHAM had borrowed the plane Saturday morning and had flown the TRAPPS to Buffalo, Mo., about 115 miles southwest of Kansas City. There the men went quail hunting while MRS. TRAPP and BILLY visited MRS. TRAPP'S parents, MR. AND MRS. RAY HOWARD of Buffalo.
The victims were headed home when the pilot apparently became lost over the city.
JOHN MUMPOWER was walking between 10th and 11th on Locust Street, a block west of the crash scene, when the plane flew overhead.
â€œI realized it was much too low,â€ MUMPOWER said. â€œIt looked like it was only six or eight levels above a four-story apartment building, but it must have been some higher than that.â€
â€œBefore I could think much about it. I heard the crash. It was just two or three seconds after I saw the plane.â€
He said the plane was in level flight and headed in a south-westerly direction. The motor sounded normal, he said.
Florence Morning News South Carolina 1964-01-13