Accident Boeing P-26C Peashooter 33-201, Tuesday 7 July 1936
ASN logo
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Tuesday 7 July 1936
Type:Boeing P-26C Peashooter
Owner/operator:United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
Registration: 33-201
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:1/8 mi E of Muni Airport, Lincoln, NE -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:KLNK
Destination airport:OMA
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
The Lincoln Journal, Tuesday, July 7, 1936


Ship Stalls and Spins To Earth From Height Of 500 Feet

Second Lieutenant Charles Edward V. Smith, formerly of Hastings, attached to Selfridge Field, Mich, was killed instantly shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday as the plane he was piloting crashed 500 feet into a stubble field just adjoining Municipal field and burst into flames.
Smith’s body was charred beyond all recognition, but he had been in Lincoln since July 4 and Charles Doyle, secretary of the state aeronautics commission, and airport attendants know who the pilot was. Positive identification was established thru papers in a wallet that escaped the flames. He was 25.

Witnesses said Smith took off from the airport into the south wind, barely skimming the ground until almost to the south fence, then zoomed and started a steep climbing turn. The ship stalled and spun to the ground. Smith had no chance to save himself.

The flier was accompanied to the airport by Frank Landis of Seward, William Marsh and Wilhelmina Sprague of Lincoln, who waved goodbye as the plane started rolling. Marsh is a fraternity brother of Smith, who belonged to Beta Theta Pi, and Miss Sprague was engaged to the pilot. She was taken home on the verge of collapse.

As the plane struck, the nose and propeller buried themselves in the ground and the force of the exploding gasoline, which set the ship on fire, view the body of the ship about 25 feet to the north. Only the right wing tip remained recognizable. Smith’s body was found in approximately the position the cockpit occupied.

The plane was a Boeing P26 1(USAAS P-26C, 33-201) type and Doyle said that in conversations with Smith he learned the plane had snap characteristics. The pilot had planned to go to Fort Crook 2(Omaha) Tuesday morning to have his ship checked and then leave for his home station.

Wreckage Scattered.

As the fuselage of the plane was thrown away from the motor, pieces of the wreckage were scattered around the ground nearby and a seat cushion and Smith’s duffle bag were thrown free. Surrounding stubble caught fire, but airport attendants put the blaze down with shovels and extinguishers. They said there was no chance to save the pilot as the whole ship was a mass of flames before they could reach the scene of the crash, about a quarter of a mile away from the airport hangar.

Smith was the son of Mrs. Ellen D. Smith, acting librarian at the Hastings public library and attended Hastings College and the University of Nebraska. He completed work for his degree here in 1934 and had been with the army air corps two years. He trained at Randolph Field, TX, and about a year ago was transferred to Selfridge Field where he was attached to the First Pursuit group. Smith held a transport license.

Lincoln firemen were called to extinguish the flames. They helped mortuary attendants take Smith’s body from the wreckage. The body was mangled and Deputy Sheriff Davis said the pilot must have died instantly as the plane struck.

Doyle said Smith obtained sufficient flying speed, but delayed his takeoff until almost blocked by a barbed wire fence at the south end of the runway.

Started Steep Climb.

At that point Smith suddenly started a steep climb and at about 500 feet started what is technically known as a chandelle turn. It was then that the ship stalled.

Carl Goodman, mechanic and acting field superintendent at the port, said he witnessed the whole thing and started for the stubble field before the plane ever struck. He was the first to arrive at the scene. Arnold Lange of Malcolm who was on the highway nearby also witnessed the takeoff and crash and was among the first to get to the blazing plane.

In another wallet partially burned were found some other papers and a quantity of currency. The parachute which Smith had no chance to use was partially burned and was lying to one side of the wreckage.



Revision history:

27-Jun-2012 14:15 jeffrey892 Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314