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1977 Yosemite Plane Crash

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Postby Ricknie » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:51 am

Well another year has passed and I am still compiling stories and data. The Feds have come forward with their sterile info as a result of my Freedom of Information Act Reqeust (FIOA). Yosemite was by far the best. They gave me just what I needed to get the time line of all the events into place.

More interviews are set up for next month.

I have found the guy that was responsible for determining if the plane was air worthy to fly to Texas for its modification from a WWII fighter/bomer to an executive aircraft. Since there were only 17 of these planes made, he remembers it. His brother was a pilot for one of the companies that owned it right after the war.

I also found the chief mechanic for the plane after it was modified and sold to the Republic Steel Company in Ohio in the 50s. After all these years, he too remembers the plane and its querks. I guess it was a real hot rod.

Since the cat is out of the bag regarding the plane type, if you are interested in seeing the only flying version of this plane, or older photos of it, do a Google on "Howard 500". Enjoy

And for those that knew Jack Dorn, he's figuring into this book as well. He had a colorful past before arriving in Yosemite. His family has a hell of a story to tell regarding the events following his death.
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Postby Edgewood » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:16 pm

I was also living in Camp 4 shortly after the crash. Did not "harvest" any pot but did smoke some. It was rather musty and more a novelty then a good high. Sorry about the loss of life..
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Postby Edgewood » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:20 pm

Jack Dorn was a real nice guy. One of the few living in rescue that gave us wannabes the time of day.
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Postby Ricknie » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:18 am

Next month I meet with Jack Dorn's brother. I have talked with him via phone before. His stories about his brother and what when on is a real eye opener.
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Awesome

Postby darinchadwick » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:15 am

It's just awesome, the research you are putting into this book. Any publishing deadlines yet? I just hope that you never sell the movie rights, we really don't need another 'Cliffhanger' type movie. Can't wait to read the book.
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Postby Ricknie » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:40 am

Darin...just when I think I'm ready to put it all together I get a call or an email from someone that flips the story up side down. This has happened a dozen times. I then have to put on my investigator's hat and dive in with both feet. There have been a few that are so contradictory that I've had to rewrite a few chapters due to the "misleading" of some people. Either they have been telling their version of the story for so long they believe it, or they are purposely sending me on wild goose chases. Either way, I can't publish the book until all of the loose ends are tied together.
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Postby HandjamMasterC » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:35 pm

I was also living in Camp 4 shortly after the crash. Did not "harvest" any pot but did smoke some. It was rather musty and more a novelty then a good high.


Same here. I remember hearing all sorts of stories. It will be fun reading what you have come up with.
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Postby cp0915 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:46 pm

If nothing else, this thread has served as a good commercial. I'll pick up a copy, for sure.
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Death in Yosemite.

Postby Stu Brandel » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:24 pm

There is a several page section of 'Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite' on this crash and its aftermath. I highly recommend the book overall. It is a look at every fatality that occurred in the park, and has a chapter on plane crashes and searches.
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Postby Ricknie » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:41 am

The book you are referring to is by Butch Farabee. He was SAR for +30 years. His chapter on this plane crash is very accurate as I helped provide him with as much up to date info that I could.
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Postby Ricknie » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:02 am

Just returned from Yosemite where I was asked to put on a presentation to the Yosemite Alumni Association. These were Park Rangers and employees that were up at the Park during this event. Many were involved in the investigation, search and recovery, and even one of the more well known "climbers" that made his way up to the lake to avail himself of some of the booty. I managed to gather up more contacts, great stories, and very good cookies.
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Postby kamil » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:48 pm

Or maybe they were rather space cookies?
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Postby Ricknie » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:45 am

kamil wrote:Or maybe they were rather space cookies?


I went in with the assumption that cookies were enabled.
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Postby cp0915 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:28 pm

Did this book ever come out? Strikes me as a story worth reading.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:31 am

Get high on Airplane. Yessir.......

Rolling Stone magazine did a really good story of rock climbing in Yosemite (April 28, 1983), quite a bit of the article was dedicated to Airplane.

Rolling Stone cover, April 28, 1983
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