Gila Wilderness, NM Private Plane Crash, May 1954

TWO DIE IN GILA WILDERNESS AIR CRASH.

RANCHER LOCATES BODIES OF FLIERS, BOTH OF EL PASO.

Silver City, May 16 (AP) -- Two El Paso men have been killed in the crash of their light plane in the remote Gila Wilderness area 60 miles north of the southwestern New Mexico city.
DONALD H. WINDEY, half owner of the plane and its pilot, and WILLIAM A. FLEER, 28, died when their craft crashed about five miles after taking off from the little landing strip at the Doc Campbell guest ranch near the East Fork of the Gila River just on the edge of the Gila Wilderness.
Bodies of the men were being brought out of the almost inaccessible area late Sunday and an inquest is scheduled for later.
The crash was late Saturday. The plane was not discovered until shortly before noon Sunday when Jack Hooker, rancher and member of the search party, found it. The search was begun about midnight Saturday when a companion, Joe Ulatoski, who drove from the ranch back to Las Cruces, became alarmed that they had not arrived and alerted Civil Aeronautics Administration officials.
They were enroute to Las Cruces at the time of the crash.
A worker at the mountain cabin of Col. Clyde Ely, publisher of the Silver City Press, told officers he heard the plane taking off from the strip last night and that the motor of the plane appeared to be "sputtering considerably."

Albuauerque Journal New Mexico 1954-05-17