American Airlines Flight 711

American Airlines Flight 711 was a scheduled flight departing from Newark, New Jersey to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with several intermediate stops, Springfield, Missouri being one of them.[1] On March 20, 1955, the aircraft operating the service, a Convair CV-240-0, registration N94234,[2] crashed into a muddy field on approach to land at Springfield-Branson Regional Airport near Springfield, Missouri, killing 13 of the 35 aboard (11 passengers, 2 crew members), and injuring all other 22 on board.[3] Of the three crew members, the pilot survived, and the co-pilot and stewardess did not.[4]

American Airlines Flight 711
An American Airlines Convair CV-240, similar to the aircraft involved in the accident
SummaryPilot error, Controlled flight into terrain
Site0.25 miles from Springfield–Branson Regional Airport, Greene County, Missouri, United States
Aircraft typeConvair CV-240-0
OperatorAmerican Airlines
Flight originNewark, New Jersey
1st stopoverSyracuse, New York
2nd stopoverRochester, New York
3rd stopoverDetroit, Michigan
4th stopoverChicago, Illinois
5th stopoverSaint Louis, Missouri
6th stopoverSpringfield, Missouri
Last stopoverJoplin, Missouri
DestinationTulsa, Oklahoma
Fatalities13 (2 crew, 11 passengers)

The pilot of the flight, Jack Pripesh, suffered considerable injuries including the loss of his right eye, and was in a coma for some time after the crash. Almost two weeks after the crash, Pripesh told reporters he could remember nothing of it.[3]

Findings of fact regarding the crash were published by the Civil Aeronautics Board on September 22, 1955.[5] The board determined that a complete instrument landing approach into Springfield-Branson was not made, as would have been required based on the deteriorating weather conditions at the time. Evidence showed that the crew didn't seem to be aware of the aircraft's altitude and that the aircraft was descending. The board believed it was probable that "the pilots were devoting their attention away from their instruments and outside the cockpit, possibly toward the distant airport lights."[5]

Notable victims

  • Wayne V. Slankard, Neosho, Missouri attorney and 'one of the town's most prominent citizens', age 44.[4]

See also

Notes and references

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