St. George, UT Private Plane Crash, Dec 1949

Searchers Hunt Missing Flier

Salt Lake City, Dec. 17 (AP) Searchers hunted in southern Utah today for a Nevada doctor, missing since he left Las Vegas, Nev., yesterday en route to his private plane to Salt Lake City.

The missing man is Dr. Frank Y. Gates, 28, of Las Vegas, his associate in Las Vegas, Dr. Joel Holmes, said Dr. gates was en route to Salt Lake City to deliver Christmas presents to his two children, who live there with their mother, Dr. Gates’ former wife.

Dr. Gates is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Y. Gates of Salt Lake City.

Flares were reported seen last night in the Beaver mountain area 25 miles northwest of St. George. The aerial search for the missing plane was concentrated in that area and a ground search also was organized.

Ogden Standard Examiner, Ogden, UT 18 Dec 1949


Search Continues For Lost Plane Continues in Desolate Area

Beaver, Utah, Dec. 22 (AP) Search for the missing plane of a Las Vegas, Nev., doctor shifted to the area 15 miles northwest of this southern Utah city today.

Sheriff Jasper Puffer organized a ground party to push into the area near Pinnacle peak in the Mineral mountains after receiving a report that flares were seen from that vicinity the past three night.

Puffer said Orville Madsen, café operator, said he had seen the flares on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Meanwhile at Enterprise, Utah, approximately 75 airline miles southwest of here, ground parties battled through four-foot snows towards the wreckage of a plane sighted from the air 10 miles from Enterprise yesterday.

Tread-equipped tractors and horsemen took over the task when the drifts proved too great for jeeps.

Officers said it might be the wreckage of a small plane flown by Dr. Franklin Y. Gates, Jr., of Las Vegas, Nev., who has been missing since Friday on a flight to Salt Lake City.

Ogden Standard Examiner, Ogden, UT 22 Dec 1949


Searchers Find Physician’s Body In Crashed Plane

St. George, Utah, Dec. 23 (AP)-The body of Dr. Franklin Y. Gates Jr., 32, of Las Vegas, Nev., was found late yesterday in his crashed plane 30 miles northwest of St. George.

Sheriff Antone B. Prince headed a party which left early today to return the body from the wreckage in scrub brush on Jackson Peak.

Discovery of the wreckage ended a week long search, Dr. Gates disappeared last Friday while flying his light plane from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. He was taking Christmas presents for his children there.

John Nordin, 36, Motoqua rancher, and his nephew, Marion Nelson, 20, of Motoqua, a Dixie college athlete, found the wrecked plane about three p.m. The two, who had searched for it every day since Sunday, reported by telephone to Prince at five-forty p.m. that the craft was “rolled into a ball” in scrub vegetation in a gully.

They said there was very little snow in the region.

Prince said it will not be known until a ground party reaches the plane whether Dr. Gates survived the crash and sent up flares. Residents of the Beaver area said they saw flares this week.

A ground party yesterday failed, because of deep snow, to reach airplane wreckage sighted on Flat Top mountain near Enterprise, Utah. Fliers said they believed this to be the wreckage of an army C-47 which disappeared during the war.

Dr. Gates was born in Logan, Utah, June 21, 1917.

Ogden Standard Examiner, Ogden, UT 23 Dec 1949