Quilcene, WA (near) Air Force C141 Crashes Into Olympic Mountains, Mar 1975

Mount Constance WASH.jpg


Quilcene, Wash. (AP) -- Stalled by deep snow and high winds, officials mapped an arduouos rescue trek by snowmobile and foot Friday to reach the presumed crash site of an Air Force C141 Starlifter in a rugged, roadless section of the Olympic Mountains.
The four-engine jet of the Air Force Military Airlift Command was carrying 16 persons, including a crew of 10 based at McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, and six passengers. The plane was on a flight from Yokota Air Base in Japan to McChord.
Air Force officials said the names of those aboard wouldn't be released until next of kin are notified.
An electronic crash signal was pinpointed early Friday near the 7,000-foot level of Warrior Peak, just inside the eastern border of Olympic National Park about nine miles southwest of the logging village of Quilcene.
Quilcene is on the west shore of Hood Canal, about 54 highway and Puget Sound ferry miles northwest of Seattle.
It was snowing heavily in the area and no aerial search could be made, although an Air Force HC 130 aircraft carrying a para-rescue team was in the area and Army and Air Force helicopters stood by.
The rescue teams included Mountain Search and Rescue personnel, as well as Air Force and Coast Guard teams.
Rescue teams decided on a route following the Dungeness River, coming in from north of the site, rather that a shorter route from Quilcene where where was more avalanche danger.
Severe storm warnings were issued for the area Friday with 50-to-60 mile an hour winds expected.
There were about 20 feet of snow in the area where the plane is presumed to have crashed, officials said.
A spokesman at McChord said the last radio message was received at 11 p.m. Thursday and the aircraft disappeared from the radar screen five minutes later.
The plane had been due to arrive at McChord at 11:15 p.m.
The cloud ceiling Thursday was as low as 2,000 feet.
The crew hadn't indicated any problems in its last radio message to McChord, Air Force officials said.

The Daily Chronicle Centralia Washington 1975-03-21



Quilcene, Wash. (AP) -- Search and rescue workers reported Saturday none of the 16 passengers survived the crash of an Air Force C-141 Starlifter in the rugged Olympic Mountains. In a radio message monitored by newsmen the rescue crews said there was no sign of life after checking the three aircraft sections spread across a steep slope on the 5,000-foot level of Mount Constance.

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