United Air Lines Flight 553Friday December 8, 1972
The aircraft crashed while making a nonprecision instrument approach to Runway 31L. The accident occurred in a residential area approximately 1.5 miles southeast of the approach end of Runway 31L. Upon reaching mimimum descent altitude, the pilot raised the nose of the aircraft to stop the descent. The stall warning horn sounded and continued to sound until the plane crashed 17 seconds later. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and subsequent fire. The captain's failure to exercise positive flight management during the execution of a non-precision approach, which culminated in a critical deterioration of airspeed resulting in a stall from which level flight could no longer be maintained. U.S. Representative from Illinois George Collins killed. Wife of Watergates E. Howard Hunt, Dorothy Hunt, also killed.