Hanover, NH Moose Mountain Plane Crash, Oct 1968
Work in Relays
ST. HILAIRE said a 10-man team was needed to carry down one man on a traction board the rescuers took up to handle persons with back injuries.
"We worked in relays, going a few steps, then handing over to some one else," he said. "It was slow going picking our way down, with two men out front with flashlights showing us where to go."
Two women and a man walked to the helicopter landing area. The other survivors were carried out. The helicopters brought in doctors and medical supplies.
Attempts to use bulldozers to make a road to the crash site were abandoned.
The plane was making an approach to Lebanon airport when it crashed seven miles northeast of the field. The U. S. Weather Bureau in Boston said there was overcast at 2,000 feet at Lebanon, low enough to obscure higher peaks.
The Bridgeport Post Connecticut 1968-10-26
Experts Search Debris For Clues to Air Crash.
Tapes May Tell Story.
HANOVER, N. H. (AP) - Investigators hope tape recordings from two battered boxes will tell them why a Northeast Airlines prop-jet crashed into a remote mountain side, killing 32 of the 42 persons on board.
The twin engine Fairchild-Hiller FH277, bound from Boston to Lebanon and Montpelier, Vt., crashed and burned 60 feet from the peak of Moose Mountain Friday night as it approached Lebanon Regional Airport. The pilot, co-pilot, and 30 passengers were killed.
In the boxes, recovered from the wreckage strewn along the fire-scarred mountain side, contained the plane's cockpit voice recorder and flight recorder.
A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said the steel boxes appeared to be severely damaged, but specialists in the board's Washington laboratory hoped to obtain transcriptions of the last conversations between the flight crew and ground control towers.
Two of the ten survivors of the crash were released from Mary Hitchcock Hospital Saturday and two were released Sunday.
None of the six who remained hospitalized Sunday night were in critical condition, a hospital spokesman said.
Among those released Saturday was the flight stewardess, BETTY FRAIL, 21, of Winithrop, Mass., and Berkley Heights, N. J., whom other survivors said ignored a broken leg to help passengers out a rear door of the burning plane.
Still hospitalized was DR. RICHARD VEECH, 41, of Oxford, England, who remained conscious after the crash despite a broken back and other severe injuries, and was described as, "the real hero" of the crash.
A Northeast spokesman said DR. VEECH got other survivors to prop him up and then directed the care of the injured.
ROBERT Y. KIMBALL, assistant dean of the Tuck School of Business Administration at Tufts University, who was aboard the plane, said DR. VEECH "marshalled us all .. and got us going."
A former member of the Vermont Aeronautics Commission said Sunday the Federal Aviation Agency knew an instrument landing system was needed at Lebanon Regional Airport, but didn't install one because of lack of funds.
Ernest Countermarsh of Lebanon said that if earlier warnings had been heeded by the FAA, "it was questionable whether this tragedy would have occurred."
He said he and Roger Crowley, former state aeronautics director, pleaded for installation of the system.
"We realized the need and so did FAA, but their plea was not enough money,"he said.
Members of the 17-man NTSB were locating, tagging and photographing pieces of wreckage. The board said the wreckage probably would not be assembled elsewhere for study - as is often done - because of the difficulty in removing it over the rugged terrain.
A spokesman for Northeast Airlines said at Lebanon Airport Saturday that access to the crash area was so difficult that some rescue workers crawled on hands and knees part of the way.
Military helicopters began airlifting the dead from the mountain early Saturday and completed the task as night fell. The bodies were taken to a temporary morgue at Lebanon National Guard Armory. Many were burned beyond recognition.
Showers at lower elevations and snow flurries at high elevations were reported during the day. National Guard trucks en route to the scene were mired down on the mountain side.
The Portsmouth Herald New Hampshire 1968-10-28