Saddleback Mountain, NH – May 28, 1973

Saddleback Mountain, New Hampshire – May 28, 1973 

     At 11:30 a.m., on Monday, May 28, 1971, a single-engine, yellow and white, Piper Cherokee, took off from a grassy field at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont, bound for Rutland, Vermont, and disappeared en-route. 

     The pilot was George Delmar, 25, a racing car driver from Walpole, Massachusetts, who had arrived at the track to participate in the races held over the weekend.  

     It was reported that Mr. Delmar had experienced a slight accident with the aircraft upon his first attempt to take off, causing minor damage to the propeller and one of the wings.  Despite this, he took a second time and set a course for Rutland. 

     The weather at the time was described as “extremely poor”.  At some point Mr. Delmar radioed the tower at Rutland Airport and advised he’d decided not to land there, and was going “home” to Massachusetts instead.  No further communications were reported in the press.

     On Tuesday morning Rutland officials were notified that Delmar and his aircraft were missing and a search was instituted.  Initially one aircraft was sent to search the estimated flight route, but was forced to abort due to heavy winds and driving rain.

     Later in the day the Civil Air Patrol joined the search while state police cruisers were directed to check rural mountain roads for the downed aircraft. 

     The Civil Air Patrol flew 113 sorties over a five day period utilizing 25 aircraft and one helicopter, but no sign of the missing plane was found, and the search was suspended.

     The missing aircraft was discovered on Saddleback Mountain in  New Hampshire the following October by hikers from the University of New Hampshire.  Mr. Delmar’s remains were recovered.       

     Sources:

     The Burlington Free Press, “Search Begun For Aircraft Overdue At Rutland Airport”, May 30, 1973

     The Burlington Free Press, “State Officials Halt Search For Missing Plane”, June 4, 1973

     The Burlington Free Press, Dead Man Found In Wrecked Plane”, October 24, 1973

     Rutland Herald, “Missing Plane Found In New Hampshire”, October 24, 1973

    

       

Lebanon Airport, N.H. – May 31, 1955

Lebanon Airport, New Hampshire – May 31, 1955

 

     On May 31, 1955, Northeast Airlines Flight 568 was attempting to land on runway 18 at Lebanon Airport when the aircraft overshot the runway and went into a ditch located 57 feet from the end of the runway.  It was raining at the time of the accident.  Although the aircraft received substantial damage, the passengers and crew were uninjured.

     The aircraft was a DC-3, with registration number N19942.

     Source: Civil Aeronautics Board Accident Investigation Report, file number 1-0074, adopted August 26, 1955, released August 31, 1955. 

Mt. Success, N.H. – November 30, 1954

Mt. Success, New Hampshire – November 30, 1954

 

DC-3 Airliner

DC-3 Airliner

     On November 30, 1954, Northeast Airlines Flight 792 departed from Boston’s Logan Airport bound for Berlin, New Hampshire with stops at Concord and Laconia, New Hampshire.  The aircraft was a DC-3, (registration N17891), with a crew of four, and three passengers aboard. 

    Just after 11:00 a.m. the flight contacted the air traffic controller at Berlin Airport and requested weather information.  The crew was advised that the weather was 3,000 feet overcast, with 2.5 mile visibility, and light snow showers.  This was the last contact with the aircraft. 

     At 11:28 a.m. the air traffic controller in Berlin tried to contact Flight 792 with updated weather conditions and received no reply.   A search and rescue operation was initiated, but deteriorating weather conditions hampered efforts. 

     On December 2, the wreckage of Flight 792 was spotted from the air by the crew of a Northeast Airlines DC-3.  Flight 792 had crashed into the southern slope of Mt. Success, 13 miles southeast of Berlin Airport, at an elevation of 3,440 feet.  

     An Air Force helicopter was dispatched to the site from Grenier Air Force Base in Manchester, New Hampshire, and lowered a doctor to assist survivors.  Two members of the crew had been killed, and the captain was seriously injured, but the stewardess and the three passengers were relatively unhurt.  All were flown one at a time to Berlin Airport.

     All aboard had been wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash which no doubt aided survival.      

     The pilot, although seriously injured, supervised survival measures.  It was snowing, and the temperature was below freezing.  Survivors wrapped themselves with anything available including cabin insulation, curtains, and soundproofing material to stay warm.   

     Source:

     Civil Aeronautics Board Accident Investigation Report, file # 1-0226, adopted July 29, 1955, released August 3, 1955 

Mt. Randolph, N.H. – December 27, 1998

Mt. Randolph, New Hampshire – December 27, 1998

 

    At 7:35 p.m., on December 27, 1998, a rented Piper Arrow with two New Jersey men aboard took off from Berlin Airport in Milan, New Hampshire, and headed south.  The aircraft climbed to 5,600 feet and shortly afterwards disappeared from radar.  The following morning a search and rescue mission was organized by the New Hampshire State Police, Civil Air Patrol, National Guard, and the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department.

     The plane had an emergency transponder, but due to the signal bouncing off nearby mountains it was initially difficult to pinpoint the source.  The wreckage was located on Mt. Randolph by a National Guard helicopter at about 10:30 a.m. on the 28th.  A medical technician lowered to the site found both men deceased.   

     Source: Nashua Telegraph, “Two N.J. Men Die As Plane Crashes On Mountainside”, December 29, 1998

Smart’s Mountain, N.H. – September 20, 1971

Smart’s Mountain, New Hampshire – September 20, 1971 

     This accident involved both military and civilian aircraft. 

     On Monday evening, September 20, 1971, a twin-engine Piper Apache took off from Portland, Maine, bound for Lebanon, New Hampshire.  The plane arrived near Lebanon shortly after 8:00 p.m., where thick fog shrouded the area.  As the aircraft was making its approach to Lebanon Airport, it crashed into the side of Smart’s Mountain.  The mountain is about 3,240 feet high, and the aircraft impacted about 1,500 feet from the summit.    

     There were three people aboard, Jeanne Bennett, 47, of Post Mills, Vermont, and Hans Klunder, 42, and Robert E. Stewart, 27.  Mrs. Benet was killed, and Klunder and Stewart were seriously injured.  The men managed to build a fire, the smoke of which attracted rescuers to their location. 

     It was reported that all three aboard the aircraft were pilots, and it was unclear as to who was flying the plane at the time of the crash.  

     A New Hampshire National Guard helicopter arrived at the scene and two guardsmen prepared to repel down a rope to assist the survivors.  The first guardsman landed safely, but the second, Specialist 6 Frederick Bartlett, 33, of Manchester, N.H., fell and was killed.    

     The survivors were brought down the mountain in a motorized vehicle and transferred to Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, N.H.

     Source:

     Nashua Telegraph, “Rescuer Killed In Fall At Airplane Crash Site.” September 22, 1971.

Manchester, N.H. – June 18, 1998

Manchester, New Hampshire – June 18, 1998

     At approximately 11:15 a.m. on June 18, 1998, a 1950s vintage British Hawker Hunter military jet aircraft (Civil Tail # N745WT) crashed in a sandpit off Frontage Road in Manchester, New Hampshire, about 1.5 miles from Manchester Airport.  The pilot, Col. John Childress, 50, of Columbia, South Carolina, ejected moments before the crash, but did not survive.  No other persons were aboard at the time of the accident, and there was no explosion or fire after the crash.  

      When the engine flamed out, Col. Childress stayed with the aircraft and waited to eject so as to direct it away from nearby businesses and houses.       

     The recently restored aircraft owned by an aviation business at Manchester Airport reportedly hadn’t flown since the 1950s. 

     The cause of the crash was later determined to be lack of fuel due to faulty readings of the fuel gauges.

     Col. Childers was an Air national Guard advisor at Shaw Air Force base in South Carolina.   

    Sources:

     The Telegraph, “Vintage Jet Crashes; Pilot Dead”, June 19, 1998

     The Item, (S.C.) “Shaw Pilot Out Of Fuel”, June 21, 1998

     Aviation Safety Newtork, Wikibase Occurrence ASN#40862

    

 

 

Nashua, N.H. – July 12, 1909

Nashua, New Hampshire – July 12, 1909

 

    balloon On July 12, 1909, a man identified as Albert Patenaud of Haverhill, Massachusetts, made a balloon ascension at Nashua with the intent of jumping from the balloon using a parachute.  After the balloon rose several hundred feet it suddenly began to drop.  As it was coming down,  Patnaud jumped, but his chute didn’t open in time to safely slow his rate of fall and he made a hard landing on the roof of a house seriously injuring his leg.  The balloon, meanwhile, came down on the roof of a barn on Beckley Street. 

     Patenaud was taken to a hospital where doctors set and put a cast on the leg.  Undaunted by his scrape with death, Patenaud announced he would try again the following day.  

     Professor Patenaud made another ascension over Nashua on the evening of July 14th, again with the intention of using a parachute.  The balloon rose to an altitude of 3,000 feet, but Patenaud was unable to cut the parachute loose.  After a few minutes the balloon began to drop and the aeronaut was forced to descend with it.  The envelope was torn open when the balloon hit the sharp edge of a roof of a home on Vine Street.  Patenaud was unhurt in this instance.    

     Source:

     The Barre Daily Times, (Vermont), “Aeronaut Dropped Two Hundred feet”, July 13, 1909 

     Nashua Telegraph, (N.H.) “Big Crowd Attends Carnival Features”, July 15, 1909

Mt. Washington, N.H. – November 29, 1969

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire – November 29, 1969

     At 7 a.m. on November 29, 1969, a green and white Cessna 172 with three men aboard took off from Portland, Maine, bound for Burlington, Vermont.  Two of the men aboard were dressed in Santa Claus suits, for the purpose of the flight was to have them drop by parachute over two malls in the Burlington area.     

     The aircraft disappeared in a snow storm while n-route, and a search and rescue operation was begun.  Dense woods, snow cover, and the Cessna’s green and white paint scheme made seeing the plane from the air difficult. The wreckage was finally spotted on December 2, on Boott Spur, at the 5,500 foot level of Mt. Washington.  When rescuers reached the area they found all three men had been killed in the crash.   

     The dead were identified as:

     (Pilot) Kenneth Ward, Jr., 20, of Augusta, Maine.

     Paul Ross, of South Portland, Maine.

     Cliff Phillips, of Island Pond, Vermont.

     Sources:

     Lewiston Daily Sun, “Plane Carrying Three, Piloted By Monmouth Man, Is Sought In N.H.”, December 1, 1969 

     Lewiston Daily Sun, (Photograph with caption.) “Arrow Points To Where Plane Crashed on Mt. Washington”, December 3, 1969  

     (Fla.) St. Petersburg Times, “Santa Claus Parachutists Die In Crash”, December 3, 1969

Mt. Washington, N.H. – March 21, 1971

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire – March 21, 1971

     On March 21, 1971, a husband and wife were killed when their small private aircraft crashed near the summit of Mt. Washington after encountering fog conditions.  The aircraft came down in a flat area where it sheared its wings before flipping over.    

     The couple were identified as Thomas Hennessy Jr., 54, and his wife Irehne (Irene), 47, both of Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Mrs. Hennessy was a model and television personality, best known for being the “Hi neighbor” girl for the then Rhode Island based Narragansett Beer company. 

     It was also reported that three other persons lost their lives in another plane crash which happened in the same area in December, 1969.

     Sources:

     Nashua Telegraph, “Bodies Of Wellesley Couple Found In Airplane Wreckage”, March 23, 1971 

     Nashua Telegraph, “Authorities Seek Cause Of Plane Crash”, March 24,1971 

     Nashua Telegraph, “Adverse Weather Ruled In 1971 Light Plane Crash”, August 24, 1972

    

Mt. Washington, N.H. – October 2, 1990

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire – October 2, 1990

     At 3:21 a.m. on October 2, 1990, a Cessna 172 aircraft carrying three men took off from Syracuse, New York, bound for Bangor, Maine.  At 4:44 a.m., the plane disappeared from radar and flew into the north side of Mt. Washington.   The mountain is 6, 288 feet high, and it was reported that had the aircraft been just 30 feet higher it would have cleared the mountain. 

     Wreckage was scattered over several hundred feet in a difficult area to access.  Searchers were further hampered by strong winds and bad weather. 

     All three men were killed in the crash.  Two were identified as Jimmy Fred Jones, 33, and Stewart Eames, 27, both of Forth Worth, Texas.   The bodies were brought down the mountain in the Cog Railway train that brings tourists up and down the mountain.

Sources:

Nashua Telegraph, “Small Plane Crashes Into Mt. Washington”, October 10, 1990 

(North Conway N.H.) The Reporter, “Plane Crash Kills Three”, October 10, 1990 

Bangor Daily News, “Mt. Washington’s Cog Railway To Carry Bodies Of Texas Men Killed In Plane Crash”, October 4, 1990

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