Klamath Falls, OR West Coast Airline Plane Crashes, Mar 1967


Klamath Falls, Ore. (UPI) -- A West Coast Airlines F27 propjet crashed on a mountain during a heavy snowstorm just after takeoff today, killing all four persons aboard.
A ground crew reached the burned, scattered wreckage about halfway up 6,526-foot Slukel Mountain three hours after the plane struck with a "blinding explosion." It reported no survivors. Three crew members and one passenger were aboard.
West Coast Airlines in Seattle identified the passenger as PAUL PHELPS, Klamath Falls, 44, a counterman for a motor sales firm.
The crewmembers were Capt. DALE ANDERSEN, the pilot; Co-Pilot DOYLE ZEIDERS, and Stewardess CONNIE BERRYMAN, all of Portland.
It was only the second passenger fatality for West Coast Airlines in its more than 20-year history.
Ground parties struggled through heavy snow to reach the wreckage. The mountain is located about 8 miles southeast of here.
The plane had just taken off for Medford when it vanished from the radar scope. There was no radio communication when it went down.
An F27 can carry up to 40 passengers.
VIRGINIA RICE told the sheriff's office she heard the plane crash and then saw "an intense light followed by a fire."
MRS. WARREN WELLS, who lives about 1 1/2 miles from the scene, said she heard the plane which seemed to be flying quite low. She looked out the kitchen window. "All of a sudden there was, no sound and then there was a blinding explosion that lit up the sky," she said.
"I couldn't see the crash because it was snowing hard," she said.
The flight originated here at 5 a.m.
Last October West Coast Airlines recorded its first passenger fatality in its more than 20 years of history when a DC3 jet went down 30 miles southeast of Portland, killing all 18 persons aboart.
Today's flight was No. 720 which travels from here to Medford, then Eugene, Portland and Seattle.

San Mateo Times California 1967-03-10