Hanover, NH Moose Mountain Plane Crash, Oct 1968

Plane Crashes on Moose Mountain

42 Persons Aboard

Aid Rushed To Hanover

HANOVER, N. H. (AP) - A Northeast Airlines plane with 39 passengers and 3 crew members crashed and burned on Moose Mountain Friday night and a report from the scene said as many as 10 survived.
Two were reported in critical condition, however. They were not identified.
The Eastern Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Center at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia said state police at the scene called for "all medical aid possible."
Persons near the scene said the plane crashed about 60 feet below the mountaintop, in an area of heavy woods and rock ledge.
First arrivals found the fuselage on its side and still burning.
A number of those aboard were reported badly burned, but four were able to walk down the mountain. There was one known stretcher case among the injured.
A helicopter was sent to the scene with rescue teams from Pease Air Force Base near Portsmouth.
A radio report from one of the chopper crew said the wreckage of the plane still was burning more than three hours after the plane last was heard from.
A resident in the area said four jeeps had started up Moose Mountain with a party of men. A bulldozer was brought in to clear a road for medical personnel.
Weather in the area at the time of the crash was described as "quite foggy."
The burning plane lit up the sky in the area. The fire could be seen from Enfield some miles distant.
Fire departments in the area headed toward the scene. Logging roads lead up the mountain.
In Boston, Northeast said the Fairchild-Hiller FH227 propjet Flight 946, was overdue on a flight from Boston to Lebanon, N. H. It left Boston at 4:55 p. m., Northeast said, and was due at Lebanon at 5:38 p. m.
The last radio contact with the plane was about 6:10 p. m., Northeast said. At that time the plane was in the Lebanon area.
An airline spokesman said the plane carried 17 passengers for Lebanon and 22 for Montpelier, Vt.
No names of passengers were immediately available.
Northeast Airlines said the pilot was Capt. JOHN A. RAPSIS, 52, of Nashua; the first officer was JOHN C. O'NEILL, 29, of Lake Arcel, Pa., and Revere, Mass.; and the stewardess was MISS BETTY J. FRAIL, 21, of Berkeley Heights, N. J., and Winthrop, Mass.
A spokesman said RAPSIS had been with the line since July, 1954; O'NEILL since May, 1967; and MISS FRAIL since this June.
The Weather Bureau at Boston said its Lebanon station reported overcast at 2,000 feet about the time of the crash. Overcast at this level would have left higher peaks in the area obscured.
At Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, a spokesman said first reports advised the hospital that at least 11 persons would be brought there, but their condition was not known.
He said the hospital's disaster plan was in effect and that within an hour of the crash more than 100 additional hospital staff members had reported for duty.

The Portsmouth Herald New Hampshire 1968-10-26

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Moose Mountain

If it is any help to you after these many years, I can tell you that there was great serenity on the mountain, in spite of the tragedy. I climbed that ridge on Moose Mountain the following day. The police and rescue workers did their very best.

jonathan v gates. Victum of the 1968, air disaster.

It has been nearly 42 years since that tragedy, on Oct. 25, 1968. I am looking for a photo obit., of Jonathan. The pain has not left, it never will. His face is becomming dim to me. I would appreciate any help.
Thank You, Janice.