Whittier, CA (near) Airliner Crashes Into Hills, Apr 1952



Groping its way through morning mist and fog, a non-scheduled airliner smashed into a hillside 20 miles northeast of Long Beach yesterday morning, burning and burying all 29 persons aboard.
The airliner, from New York, was less than 14 miles from its Los Angeles destination. Wreckage of the plane was not located for nearly seven hours.
A spokesman for North Continental Airlines fixed the tentative death toll at 29, many of them servicemen on the basis of a check of passenger lists. The plane had made five stops prior to crashing, unloading and loading passengers at most of them.
Soon after the crash, the Civil Aeronautics Administration announced in Washington it was suspending the operating rights of North Continent Airlines. A CAA spokesman said the suspension was ordered because of the operating history of the firm, violations of air regulations and accidents involving the line's planes.
The airlilne said the C-46 was carrying 24 passengers, a crew of three and two other company employes riding "deadhead," a stewardess and a pilot.
The two-motored converted C-46 drove into a low-lying hill just off Turnbull Canyon, northeast of Whittier.
Bodies of the dead, most not recognizable, were removed from the hillside debris by a jeep and crew dispatched from the Norwalk sheriff's station.
The crash toll was the largest ever reported in southeastern Los Angeles County.
Pilot LOUIS POWELL, 44, La Crescenta, who formerly flew out of Long Beach airport for Standard Airlines, was last incontact with the Los Angeles International Airport control tower at 3:33 a.m., when he reported radio and visibility trouble. He gave his position then as La Habra.
The plane apparently was "flying the beam" at an extremely low altitude, investigators said, and glanced off one hilltop to nose into a steeply sloped hill on the other side of a narrow, winding canyon.
It was apparent that the plane was immediately engulfed in a raging fire that gutted all but the tail and wingtip sections. Heavy morning fog obscured the fire from the view of nearby ranchers.
The plane had begun its flight from La Guardia Field, New York, but had made stops at Cleveland, Amarillo and Phoenix, taking on most of its load of passengers at Cleveland.
The wreckage was discovered about 10 a. m. by the sheriff's aerial squadron, which had joined an area-wide search for the missing plane. The crash, in a nearly inaccessible canyon, was reached by deputies within 30 minutes, but they found no sign of life. Later the wreckage was roped off and thousands of curious people were barred by California highway patrol road blocks.
Bits of wreckage were thrown thousands of feet at the crash, and were buried on facing sides of the little canyon.

Los Angeles, Apr. 18 -- (U.P.) -- Following is the list issued by North Continent Airlines of passengers and crew carried on their flight manifests as being aboard a plane which crashed near here today:
Capt. LEWIS POWELL, 45, pilot; La Crascenta, Calif.
Co-Pilot CHARLES KING WALDREN, 37, Los Angeles.
Stewardess TONI BRADFORD, 20, Burbank.
HARRIET PARMELLO, extra stewardess, Whittier.
ROBERT ALEXANDER, extra pilot, address unlisted.
A. IBARRA, Los Angeles.
Pvt. S. HERSZKOVICTSCH, New York City.
H. WAIG, Flushing, N. Y.
MRS. H. WAIG, same address.
J. LANGE, Great Neck, N. Y.
M. SONEDILE, Jamaica Plains, Mass.
MRS. M. SONEDILE, Jamaica Plains, Mass.
MRS. B. YAHN, Jamaica Plains.
H. BECK, Bethpage, N. Y.
B. BHIERA, Cahoes, N. Y.
Pfc. JOHN BAIRD, Jamaica Plains.
R. WHALLY, San Jose, Calif.
Pvt. H. LITTONER, Pacchogrid, L. I., N. Y.
Pvt. S. BARNES, Brooklyn, N. Y.
DONALD WALTERS, Carneys Point, N. J.
Pfc. JOHN KNUFF, Brigatine, N. J.
G. HEBLEY, Philadelphia.
A. CORBO, Philadelphia.
MRS. PERRION, Philadelphia.
Pfc. M. CAPPER, Philadelphia.
JOHN STONER, Rosemead, Calif.
Pvt. W. DiDOMENICIS, Delaware, Pa.
Pfc. GENDONE, Eden, N. Y.
C. GISLE, Oryhurk, Sweeden.

Independent Long Beach California 1952-04-19