Port Maitland, ON Plane Crashes, Dec 1956


Port Maitland, Ont. (AP) - The cold waters off this Lake Erie fishing village today still held the bodies of five Americans entombed when their private plane crashed during a snow-squall Saturday night.
The wreckage of the plane, a twin-engine Aero-Commander, lay in 12 feet of water about 600 feet from shore. Inside were the bodies of two Detroit businessmen, their wives and their pilot.
Darkness and heavy snow-squalls halted salvage attempts Saturday. Yesterday, lack of proper equipment, then rising winds again forced cancellation of recovery work.
The plane owned by the Peninsular Steel Co. of Detroit, crashed after leaving Buffalo about 30 miles east of here for Detroit.
William Trader, company president, said those aboard were:
WESLEY HOPP, of Royal Oak, Mich., the pilot;
MR. and MRS. MIKE McFADDEN, all of Grosse Point, Mich.
Trader said Kurtz was a vice president of Peninsular and McFadden a sales representative of the Bethlehem Steel Corp.
They were returning to Detroit from New York City.
Buffalo airport authorities said the last message from the plane was radioed at 4:35 p.m. (EST), 17 minutes after take-off. He said it was 30 to 60 feet off the ground and overshot the field and plunged into the lake.
Three men rowed out to the wreck shortly after but reported no signs of life. They found only a wing tip protruding above the water.
Yesterday, a diver reported seeing bodies in the plane. Canadian officials sent for a scow with a derrick to raise the wreck but work was halted when the 25-30 mile an hour winds threatened to drive the scow aground in the rocky shallows.

The Times Record Troy New York 1956-12-10