It was a cold and snowy Easter evening, April 6th, 1958 as friends and relatives gathered at Tri-City Airport to greet the passengers of flight 67 coming in from Flint Bishop. As they waited for the four engine Capital Airlines Vickers Viscount plane to land, there was a sudden explosion in a farm field southwest of the airport and a horrific feeling came to reality as the crowd learned that the place crashed in the snowstorm. The plane’s crew apparently attempted a steep turn to align the craft with the runway, this caused the plane to stall, which was followed by a spin. The crew could not regain control and the plane struck the ground nose-first, flipped over and broke apart before bursting into flames. As rescue workers tried to save passengers and extinguish the flames the Michigan spring thaw made the field extremely muddy, hampering rescue efforts, as emergency vehicles got stuck in the mud.
The official cause of the crash was listed as an undetected buildup of ice on the horizontal stabilizer which, coupled with airspeed and the design of the aircraft, caused it to lose control. Furthermore, the aircraft’s stall warning device was inoperative. It remains one of Saginaw county’s worst disasters as 47 passengers and crew died in the crash. Author William R. Reid wrote a book about the tragedy and raised money for a memorial to the victims that was unveiled in Roselawn cemetery in 2001.
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