North Conway, NH Plane Crashes On Mountainside, Dec 1954
RADIO MESSAGE SPURS SEARCH FOR AIRLINER.
VOICE BROADCASTS 'EMERGENCY, DOWN NEAR HILL' AND THEN FADES OUT.
CAP PILOT REPORTS SIGHTING PLANE WRECKAGE ON MOUNTAIN.
North Conway, N. H., Dec. 1 -- (AP) -- A faint radio message and an unsubstantiated report of sighted wreckage on a mountainside today spurred ground and air search for a Northeast Airlines plane downed yesterday with seven aboard.
The brief radio voice message -- transmitted "blind" for anyone who could pick it up -- read: "emergency - down five miles northeast of field hill but --." The message then faded out.
At about the same time a report attributed to a Civil Air Patrol pilot said wreckage of a plane had been sighted in the snowy wilderness of Bald mountain, about five miles northeast of the airliner's Berline airport destination. However, the Air Force search coordinator said it had no word of the reported sighting.
Vanishes In Snow.
The plane disappeared in snowy weather on a scheduled flight from Boston to the Berline airport at Milan.
Immediately after report of the wreckage and the radio message -- indicating that at least one of the missing seven persons still lived -- search parties went into action.
Nearly three score searchers moved into the Bald mountain area. The party included litter bearers, mountain specialists, a medical officer and a doctor, all equipped with Arctic clothing.
Some 30 planes combed the area in flying conditions described as "extremely rough." The Berline airport at Milan was closed due to poor visibility accompanying a heavy snowfall.
The general search area was described as quite mountainous but with several large sections of flat ground. From one to feet of snow covered the ground.
ROBERT L. TURNER, airline vice president, said the radio message was sent on an emergency frequency.
TURNER said the message was identified as from "792," the flight destination of the missing plane.
More than 20 search planes immediately converged on the area, which includes Bald and Black mountains, both more than 2,000 feet high.
Report of the wreckage sighting came almost simultaneously with reports from Northeast's Berlin office that faint radio signals had been picked up there.
The missing plane was in command of Capt. W. PETER CAREY, 37, of Swampscott, Mass. The crew included co-pilot GEORGE McCORMICK, 37, of Boston; stewardess MARY McKETTRICK, 23, of Dorchester, Mass., and flight superintendent JOHN McNULTY, 39, of Boston, who was along to make a flight check.
Bridgeport Telegram Connecticut 1954-12-01
PLANE IS FOUND ATOP N. H. PEAK IN WILDERNESS
5 OF 7 ALIVE IN WRECKED AIRLINER.
PILOT MOST SERIOUSLY HURT OF SURVIVORS; OTHERS ABLE TO WALK
MOVED BY 'COPTER.
DEAD ARE IDENTIFIED AS CO-PILOT AND FLIGHT SUPERINTENDENT.
Milan, N. H., Dec. 2 -- (AP) -- Searchers found a wrecked Northeast Airlines plane atop snow-covered Mr. Success today and two of its seven occupants -- marooned since midday Thuesday in near-zero temperature -- were dead.
Five survivors, including the plane's stewardess, the only woman aboard, were removed by helicopter and taken to a Berlin hospital.
Score of Planes In Hunt.
A veteran flier on his day-off discovered the wreckage this morning after a score of planes had flown over the vast, mountainous region the past two days without success. He is APOSTOLIS N. BOUNTIS, 33, of Manchester, N. H., a Trans-Ocean Airline pilot.
Dead in the wreckage were Co-pilot GEORGE D. McCORMICK, 37, of West Hurley, N. Y., and JOHN McNULTY, 39, of Boston, and NEA flight superintendent, who was making a routine flight check.
The survivors are: Pilot Capt. W. PETER CAREY, 37, of Swampscott, Mass., the most seriously hurt; Stewardess MARY L. McETTRICK, 23, of Boston, and the three passengers, JAMES W. HARVEY, 52, of Watertown, Mass.; WILLIAM H. MILLER of Philadelphia, and DANIEL H. HALL of Montclair, N. J.
All but CAREY were able to walk from a helicopter which transferred them from the bleak mountaintop to the Berlin-Milan airport here, about eight miles from the scene of the crash.
BOUNTIS, who was riding as an observer in a Northeast plane piloted by Capt. PETER DANA, told newsmen: "I spotted the outline of the DC-3's tail against the mountain. About 4 or 5 inches of snow covered the wreckage."
Plane Broke In Half.
He said the plane crashed and broke approximately in half as it neared its destination on a regular flight from Boston to the Berlin-Milan airport on Tuesday morning. Both sections of the plane appeared intact.
BOUNTIS estimated the plane struck the mountain about 75 feet from the summit of the 3,600-foot peak. It sliced off treetops as it moved into relatively flat snow-covered ground.
The accident marked the first fatality on Northeast Airlines in its 21 years in business.
MISS McETTRICK wore a heavy coat over blue and white pajamas as she stepped from the helicopter. The three passengers had on warm overcoats and walked to ambulances.
Two Die After Crash.
Vice President ROBERT L. TURNER of Northeast Airlines saw CAREY at St. Louis hospital and quoted him as saying McNULTY and McCORMICK "died soon after the crash."
MISS McETTRICK complained of a stiff neck when she reached the hospital. MILLER said of her:
"She was terrific. She was the life of the party. She held us all together."
The helicopter which completed the rescue work in swift trips was piloted by Lt. KENNETH M. RICHARDSON of Warren, R. I., stationed at Westover Air Force base, Mass.
After he flew the survivors to Milan he took medical referee DR. R. H. McVETTY to view the bodies.
Rescue Effort Told.
FRANK T. MORELOCK, of Crackers Neck, Va., an Air Force medical technician, was with RICHARDSON as the five survivors were removed. He first lowered himself on a sling and tried to lift CAREY. The pilot was so rigid from cold the helicopter had to move to a nearby clearing before lifting CAREY into the hatch.
The other four survivors were removed in one trip.
BOUNTIS said that when he sighted the wreckage he saw one of the survivors waving a flag to attract attention.
Weather bureau officials said it was unlikely searchers could have seen the plane yesterday because of a low ceiling. Clouds virtually hid the mountain tops.
BOUNTIS knew CAREY only slightly. Asked why he was up searching on his day off, he replied quickly:
"If I am ever down I want somone to look for me too."
The wrecked plane was making a routine flight on Thesday from Boston to Berlin. The airport is located in Milan, eight miles north of Berlin in the northeastern end of New Hampshire.
CAREY made his regular stop in Laconia, N. H., and took off for Berlin at 10:27 a.m., the plane acknowledged receipt of a weather report from Northeast at 11:13 a.m., there was no further contact with the ship until it was sighted today -- about 45 hours later.
PASSENGERS, CREW LISTED BY AIRLINE.
Milan, N. H., Dec. 2 -- (AP) -- The seven persons aboard the airliner when it disappeared included three crew members a Northeast Airlines flight superintendent and three passengers. The company listed them as follows:
Capt. W. PETER CAREY, 37, pilot of the craft, a resident of Swampscott, Mass., he is married and has five daughters. He entered Northeast's employ in 1942, leaving to ferry planes during World War II.
A native of Chicago, he was a graduate of Belmont Hill school, Phillips Academy at Andover, Mass., and Yale university and also studied at Harvard. He recently became a partner in a Boston firm which manufactures medical instruments.
Co-Pilot GEORGE D. McCORMICK, 37, married and resident of Kingston, N. Y. He entered service with Northeast in 1950.
MARY L. McETTRICK, of Boston's Dorchester district, the plane's hostess, an accomplished classical and modern pianist, who graduated from Emmanuel college in 1953 and was historian of her class.
JOHN McNULTY, 39, a flight superintendent who was making a routine flight check, entered Northeast employment 12 years ago after a short career as a disc jockey at radio station WJDA, Quincy. He has made his home in the Mattapan district of Boston with his wife and three children.
JAMES W. HARVEY, 52, of Watertown, Mass., a frequent air traveler, was making his first flight to Berling, N. H., on business. He founded his own importing firm in Cambridge three years ago after 24 years in that business. His son, Lt. James, Jr., arrived home Tuesday night after release from active duty with the U. S. Marine Corps. He has two other sons, David, 23, employed by a Boston (National Shawmut) bank, Peter, 18, a Tufts college freshman, and a daughter, Mrs. Robert Bruns, 22, of Manchester, N. H.
HARVEY and his wife, ETHEL, moved to Watertown three years ago after living in Belmont, Mass., 25 years.
DONALD H. HALL, a Montclair, N. J. businessman, was enroute to Berlin on a business trip.
W. MILLER, 80 East Johnson street, Philadelphia.
Bridgeport Post Connecticut 1954-12-03