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.
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