Date: August 31, 1969
Time: 20:05
Location: Newton, Iowa
Operator: Private Charter
Flight #: -
Route: Chicago - Des Moines.
AC Type: Cessna 172H
Registration: N3149X
cn / ln: 55299
Aboard: 3   (passengers:2  crew:1)
Fatalities: 3   (passengers:2  crew:1)
Ground: 0
Summary: The single engine plane took off at night in rainy weather despite warnings of a building storm front. Fighter, Rocky Marciano, 45, killed. The pilot was not cleared to fly IFR and had only 35 hours of night flying experience. The plane got as far as Newton, Iowa. The plane was seen flying barely 100 feet off the ground when it entered a rolling bank of clouds. Reappearing once, it rose and disappeared again. The plane crashed into a lone oak tree in the middle of a corn field. After a stop at Des Moines, Marciano was on his way home to attend his birthday party. Pilot attempted operation beyond experience/ability level. Continued VFR flight into adverse weather conditions. Spatial disorientation.

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