Arden Dome, NV Plane Crashes Near Las Vegas, Nov 1964



Las Vegas, Nev. (AP) -- Searchers found on a mountain top today the wreckage of a Phoenix-to-Las Vegas airliner that crashed in a snowstorm Sunday night, killing all 29 persons aboard.
The shattered twin-engine Bonanza Airline prop-jet lay scattered across Arden Dome, a rocky, flat-topped butte, 4,410 feet high and nine miles southwest of Las Vegas.
Half a dozen bodies were strewn near the craft. Others were inside or buried in the snow. The wreckage did not burn.
Snow continued falling until about 8 a.m. Then, under partly cloudy skies, 150 workers began the task of bringing out the bodies.
Helicopters, Clark County sheriff's jeeps, Navada highway patrol cars and Air Force rescue trucks streamed into the area.
The plane lay pointed toward Las Vegas and broken into three sections -- tail, fuselage and cockpit -- in a line stretching about 150 yards.
The search by cars and jeeps stretched through the night after the Fairchild F27, Bonanza's flight 114 from Phoenix vanished from McCarran Field's radar screen at 8:27 p.m.
The plane was heading northeast, dropping down into the mountain-rimmed Las Vegas Valley for an instrument landing.
Searchers in a jeep spotted the wreckage about 7 a.m. from another ridge 10 miles away.
Copters flew over the debris, then rescuers made their way to it in jeeps, rescue vehicles and on foot.
The plane's left engine lay to the rear of the tail. One wing, torn off, was to the right of the cockpit.
Copters ferried a dozen men with shovels and baskets to the top of the butte. About 150 others established a camp in an arroyo about 500 feet below, building a fire by which to warm themselves between turns at rescue work. A power-line service road leads to the campsite.
The temperature -- 30 degrees last night -- was up to 45.
Bonanza said names of victims would be announced in Las Vegas after relatives have been notified. It was the first fatal crash in the history of the 8-year-old airline.
In Arden -- a community of about 50 people about five miles north of the wreck site -- civil defense workers prepared soup, hot food and coffee flown by helicopters to the rescue workers.

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