Web 1

Cover photo by Rod Hanna

Rescue Operations Dec. 4, 1978



web 2

Illustration by Richard Smith

Crash site at Buffalo Pass



Otter jpeg

Photo courtesy of Dennis Heap

Rocky Mountain Airways Twin Otter



web 4

Photo courtesy of Dennis Heap

Forward bag bin



web 5

Photo by Harrison Jones

Grizzly Creek Ranger Station Oct. 2016



web 6

Photo courtesy of Civil Air Patrol

Grizzly Creek Ranger Station Dec. 1978



web 7

Photo courtesy of Dave Lindow

Dave Lindow’s snow cat was the first to reach the crash site in the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 5, 1978. The initial rescue team consisted of Dave Lindow, Civil Air Patrol members Jerry Alsum and Don Niekerk, and Steve Poulsen of Rocky Mountain Rescue. The remainder of the Civil Air Patrol team, Jim Alsum, Dan Alsum, Harry Blakeman, Sonny Elgin, and Rick Hopp set up a base camp at Grizzly Ranger Station and prepared to receive survivors.



web 8

Photo by Rod Hanna

Rescue operations



web 9

Photo by Rod Hanna

Passenger evacuation from emergency window exit


web 10

Photo by Rod Hanna

IV’s administered at the crash site froze within minutes




web 11

Photo by Rod Hanna

Evacuation from main passenger entrance door



web 12

Photo by Rod Hanna

Volunteers arrived from near and far once the aircraft was found





web 13

Photo by Rod Hanna

Civil Air Patrol and other rescue volunteers worked in waist deep snow




web 14

Photo by Rod Hanna

The aircraft came to rest on its right side with the wings missing and buried in the snow




web 15

Photo by Rod Hanna

Snow cats transported passengers and crew to Grizzly Creek Ranger Station thirteen miles away



web 16

Photo courtesy of Don Niekerk

Passengers Maureen Redmond Smith and Matt Kotts in 2008




web 17

Photo Courtesy of Don Niekerk

The steel rod used to dig First Officer Gary Coleman out of the cockpit was found at the crash site in 2008




web 18

Photo courtesy of Don Niekerk

The right wingtip of the Otter was sheared off when it struck the power line tower



web 19

Photo courtesy of Dennis Heap

Luann Mercer’s wedding dress was used to keep wind and snow out of the passenger cabin after the crash. The dress is now displayed at The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver.




web 20Photo courtesy of Dennis Heap

The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum displays wreckage recovered by the Civil Air Patrol in 2008.





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