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Ken C. Sonner Collection

 Collection
Identifier: H052-83

Scope and Content

This collection contains business correspondence, radiograms, business records, notes, certification of competence, travel receipts, reports, doodles, memoranda, newsletters, bulletins, clippings, articles, photographs, flight recorder data, ephemera and other materials that were created and/or collected by Ken C. Sonner during his work as a CAB Aircraft Accident Investigator. The Ken C. Sonner Collection is housed in four manuscript boxes and one non-standard box totaling 2.76 linear ft.

The collection arrived in fair condition. The archivist identified five series with the first series being the Personal Files Series containing the correspondence between Sonner, while working for the CAB, and other constituencies. Topics are: mechanics licensing, applications to jobs within the CAB, job market in the aviation industry, Studebaker Boeing B-17 aircraft engines, Curtiss airplanes, Trans World Airlines, Civil Aeronautic Agency (CAA) General Inspections exams, aircraft engine testing, personal notes, requesting references for job applications, fundraising, current activity reports; accident report on Rikers Island, NY, Northeast Airlines, N23954; travel reports, travel receipts, doodles, certification of competence, notes, and articles. One of the correspondent is Ken J. Boedecker.

The second series is the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Series, which is further organized in seven subseries: 1. General Information, 2. Business Correspondence, 3. Reports, 4. Travel, 5. Publications, 6. Directories, and 7. National Aircraft Accident Investigation School.

Subseries 1 contains Sonner’s listing of major accidents investigations he participated in since he joined the CAB, notes, correspondence between Sonner and TWA commending his work as inspector and membership to TWA Ambassador Club, narratives “No Tribute to FAA,” “FAA, CAB Seek Accident Probe Accord,” “’Who is Stimson…to Judge a Soldier?’,” and a sketch of a light aircraft control locations.

Subseries 2 contains general business correspondence regarding memoranda and reports between the agency, various other specialists, and Sonner in his function as Power plant Specialist or as Air Safety Specialist.

Subseries 3 contains correspondence regarding the establishment of a new international airline from Atlanta, Georgia, no-stop to the Azores; a printout of a flight recorder data of AAL Boeing 707-123B N7506A, Jamaica Bay, NY; notes, a narrative by Sonner “Review of Flight Logs, Maintenance, and Overhaul Records of Aircraft Involved in Accidents,” and a report “The Evaluation of Scratch Marks in Mid-air Collisions” by Edwin V. Nelmes.

Correspondence regarding preliminary notifications of aircraft accidents: Lyndon B. Johnson Corporation, Convair 340, N94256; Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., Convair 340/440, N5512; Bonanza Airlines, Inc., Fairchild F-27 N756L; Eastern Air Lines, Inc., Douglas DC-8, N8607; Paradise Airline Lockheed 049 Constellation, N86504; Mohawk Airlines, Inc., Martin 404, N8607; Douglas DC-3, N410D; Trans World Airlines, Inc., Lockheed Constellation L-749, N91209; Slick Airways Division, Douglas DC-4, N384; Frontier Airlines, Inc., Douglas DC-3, N61442; Facilities Management Corporation, Douglas DC-4E, N4726V; American Airlines, Inc., Lockheed 188, N123; Pan American World Airways, Inc., Boeing 707-120, N779PA; and El Al Israel Airlines, Ltd. Boeing 707.

Aircraft accident reports for Eastern Air Lines; The Flying Tiger Line, Inc.; Northwest Airlines, Inc.; Continental Air Lines, Inc.; Currey Air Transport, Ltd.; Peninsular Air Transport; Arctic-Pacific, Inc.; Trans World Airlines, Inc.; Pan American Airways; Piper PA-30, N7341Y; and a narrative “A Review of U.S. Air Carrier Accidents in which Fatalities Resulted from Fire Following Impact, 1952-1961.”

Order slips, correspondence, radiogram, United States time zone map, charts regarding access to aircraft flights for project 3-PE-7, articles, memoranda regarding purchase orders, memoranda regarding comparative MRR Statistical Data, notes, letters of complaint and commendation by Sonner; memoranda regarding Maintenance Records Review Program, including corrections, drafts, project outlines, and procedures; letter explaining the difference between CAB and CAA, and excerpt of “Civil Aeronautics Board, Safety Investigation Regulations for April 1, 1963.”

Subseries 4 contains receipts, travel authorization forms, travel vouchers, and correspondence regarding Sonner’s duties to perform his official duties as investigator for the CAB and the Federal Aviation Act.

Subseries 5 contains CAB telephone directories, newsletters Across the Board. A Civil Aeronautics Board Club Publication, press releases, and a pamphlet CAA Facts.

Subseries 6 contains CAB personnel listings and a list of participants at the R. E. Johnson Testimonial Dinner April 30, 1965.

Subseries 7 contains course materials, index "Index to Instruction of Safety Analysis Division Course,” worksheet “Prototype Class Assignments and Schedule,” glossary “Glossary of Turbo Jet Engine Terminology,” and weekly course schedule “Aircraft Accident Investigation Techniques and Procedures.”

The third series is the Publication Series, which is further organized into three subseries: 1. Airlines and Airplanes, 2. Clippings, and 3. Brochures, Pamphlets, and Newsletters.

Subseries 1. contains clippings of airplane crashes and incidents of American Airlines, Capital Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Lockheed Constellation, Lockheed Loadstar Model 18, Mid-Continental Airlines, Northeast Airlines, Northwest Orient Airlines, Robinson Airlines, Trans World Airlines, United Airlines, Various Airlines, Viking Air Transport, and Western Airlines; sketches dedicated to Johnny Ray, employee of Eastern Airlines, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary with the company; and sketches for the Eastern Airlines engine overhaul annual picnic.

Subseries 2. contains clippings of aircraft accidents and incidents, and general aviation topics.

Subseries 3. contains brochures Australia Flying Doctor, Curtiss Electric Propeller Pilot’s Manual, Student Pilot Guide, and The Aircraft Industry’s Role in a National Air Policy; newsletters Operation of 8500-Hp Gas Turbines in Locomotive Service, United States Department of Commerce, CA News, The CAC News, and The Beacon; and reports Report of Committee on Airport Zoning and Eminent Domain, Report of Committee on Airport Drainage and Surfacing, and a transmittal slip.

The fourth series is the Ephemera Series containing pieces from a publication from the ninetheenth or turn of the twentieth century of German badges of ranks, funnies, clippings of a murder case, and an obituary of Ms. Mabel E. Pace, a quick Reference Schedule New York/Newark to Chicago, TWA postcard, a brochure dedicated to the Air Safety Investigators, poem “Qualifications for a Power plant Specialist,” Kenneth C. Sonner’s name sticker, and Andy Sonner YMCA name pin; handbooks Aeronautical Vest-Pocket Handbook, The Wright Aero Handbook; and yearbooks The Freshman Blotter, and Junior Bulletin of the Delaware High School.

The fifth series is the Photograph Series depicting images from various airlines, aviation personalities, locations, aircraft engines, airmail bases, CAB personnel, Ken C. Sonner, airfields, aircraft accidents, and airplanes. For more detailed description, consult the Accession Record Photographs index in Box 4, Folder 42.

Dates

  • 1918 - 1986
  • Majority of material found within 1944 - 1965

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

Kenneth (Ken) C. Sonner started working for Wright Motor Company as mechanic and started working for the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on June 15, 1943 as Aircraft Accident Investigator, Power plant Specialist, and Air Safety Specialist.

Kenneth C. Sonner passed away in 1967.

Sources

Source
"Ken C. Sonner Collection," Visit from Relatives on 2019-11-15, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
"Ken C. Sonner Collection," Major Accidents Listing, Folder 2, Box 1, Series II., Subseries 1., History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
"Ken C. Sonner Collection," Clipping, Folder 8, Box 3, Series III., Subseries 2., History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Extent

2.76 Linear Feet (Four manuscript boxes and one non-standard box (11.75x14.5x3).)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Kenneth (Ken) C. Sonner started working for Wright Motor Company as mechanic and later worked for the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) as Aircraft Accident Investigator, Power plant Specialist, and Air Safety Specialist.

Series Description

The Ken C. Sonner Collection is arranged in five series:

Series I. Personal Files 0.06 linear ft. (one folder), 1943-1962.

Arranged by topic.

Series II. Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) 0.84 linear ft. (seventeen folders), 1943-1965.

Arranged in seven subseries: 1. General Information, 2. Business Correspondence, 3. Reports, 4. Travel, 5. Publications, 6. Directories, and 7. National Aircraft Accident Investigation School.

Subseries 1. General Information 0.01 linear ft. (one folder), 1943-1958.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 2. Business Correspondence 0.4 linear ft. (eight folders), 1943-1956.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 3. Reports 0.2 linear ft. (four folders), 1946-1965.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 4. Travel 0.08 linear ft. (one folder), 1957-1965.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 5. Publications 0.02 linear ft. (one folder), 1955-1961.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 6. Directories 0.02 linear ft. (one folder), 1948-1965.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 7. National Aircraft Accident Investigation School 0.02 linear ft. (one folder), 1965.

Arranged by topic.

Series III. Publications 1.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box and two folders), 1931-1962.

Arranged in three subseries: 1. Airlines and Airplanes, 2. Clippings, and 3. Brochures, Pamphlets, and Newsletters.

Subseries 1. Airlines and Airplanes 1.05 linear ft. (two manuscript folders and one oversize folder), 1945-1962.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 2. Clippings 0.3 linear ft. (eleven folders), 1929-1961.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 3. Brochures, Pamphlets, and Newsletters 0.08 linear ft. (three folders), 1931-1962.

Arranged by topic.

Series IV. Ephemera 0.06 linear ft. (three folders and one item), 1918-1919.

Arranged by topic.

Series V. Photographs 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1932-1986.

Arranged by topic.

Provenance Statement

The Ken C. Sonner Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Ed Rice in multiple accesions from 1983 through 1986.

Additional Sources

Additional information can be found in the History of Aviation Archives in the following collections:

History of Aviation Archives and the Jack B. Jaynes Papers H003-68.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 5KCS-1-1-PB1

5 = History of Aviation Archives

KCS= Ken C. Sonner Collection

= Series Number

1 = Box Number

1 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

B = Black and White

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.

Note to the Researcher

All metal fasteners have been removed and exchanged with coated paperclips. The images were housed either in polypropylene sleeves or interleafed with acid-free paper.

Materials Removed List

0.1 linear ft. (one envelope) of duplicate photographs were sent back to the Sonner family.
Title
Guide to the Ken C. Sonner Collection -1967
Status
Completed
Author
Patrizia Nava, CA
Date
2019-11-20
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Collection is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

Contact:
3020 Waterview Pkwy
SP2
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-2570
972-883-4590 (Fax)