Salmon Mountain, OR Plane Crashes Into Peak, Oct 1966
WEST COAST'S JET MISSING; 20 ABOARD.
West Coast Airlines' new DC9 jetliner vanished last night south of Portland with 20 persons aboard.
The West Coast office here said no one from Walla Walla was aboard. The new 75-passenger plane started nightly service here only last Monday, but on Saturday night the plane's schedule called for bypassing Eastern Washington, with a direct Portland-Seattle flight instead.
The Associated Press reported contact with the twin-jet, it was lost as it neared Portland after a stop at Eugene on its nightly flight from San Francisco. Search efforts were virtually impossible under last night's weather conditions. It vanished from radar shortly after 8:20 p.m.
State police said radio contact was lost when the aircraft was near Squaw Mountain, which is southwest of Mr. Hood about 30 miles southeast of Portland.
Rain was falling in the area and the ceiling was down to 2,900 feet, the Oregon Board of Aeronautics reported. Squaw Mountain is 4,800 feet high.
A spokesman for the board said two planes were in the area and a third was due shortly. But the terrain below was obscured by the clouds and darkness.
The Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, D. C., said it was dispatching a dozen men to investigate. WILLIAM L. LAMB, CAB air safety investigator, will be in charge.
In Seattle, a vice president of West Coast, ED ALTMAN, said the plane carried 14 passengers, two pilots, an observer pilot and three stewardesses.
ALTMAN identified the pilot as Capt. DONALD ALDRICH. The co-pilot was CHARLIE WARREN. PETE LaBUSKY the observer and the stewardesses were DONNA McDONALD, BONNIE WEINBERGER and MARGARET BJORNSON, all from Seattle.
The control tower in Eugene said the plane landed and departed without unusual event at 7:52 p.m. TERRY HUNTER, West Coast station manager in Portland, said the plane was due in Portland, 106 miles north, a few minutes later.
A spokesman for the CAB said if the plane had crashed it would be the first crash involving the DC9 since it began commercial operation about one year ago for several other airlines.
Meanwhile, an F106 jet from McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, Wash., flew at high altitudes over the area between Portland and Eugene on the possibility that a column of smoke might be seen.