Guadalupe Mountains, TX Plane Crash, Sep 1932
THREE IN PLANE BURNED TO DEATH IN HILLSIDE CRASH.
FOURTH MAN SAVED BY TIGHTENING SAFETY BELT JUST BEFORE ACCIDENT.
El Paso, Tex. -- (AP) -- Tightening of his safety belt saved GEORGE A. DAVIDSON'S life while his three companions on an airplane trip were burned to death when the ship struck the side of a mountain.
Pilot W. J. "BRYANT" ROBBINS of the American Airways, his co-pilot, FRANCIS W. BRIGGS, and VICTOR ELLMAN of St. Louis, a passenger as was DAVIDSON, were killed. The plane, wrecked yesterday morning, was found early today by two other American Airways pilots, Ira McConaughey and Victor Miller.
DAVIDSON, who lives in Richmond, Calif., was burned on his hands and face but suffered no serious injuries.
The searchers found him about two miles from the plane. He had stopped to build a fire because he could not find his way well in the darkness and needed warmth against the chill air of the Guadalupe mountains where the ship crashed. The mountains are about 75 miles east of El Paso.
He said he was nervous as ROBBINS tried to pilot the plane over the Guadalupe chain in foggy weather. As a precaution, he tightened his safety belt. When the plane hit the mountainside, the other three were thrown forward and probably stunned. DAVIDSON'S belt kept him in his seat and left him able to leap from the plane an instant before it took fire. Almost in a moment, the other men were burned to death before his eyes.
Unable to help them, he remained near the plane a while and then started to try to make his way out of the mountains.
ROBBINS was a cousin of Reg L. Robbins, who won fame in 1929 as an endurance flyer.
La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press Wisconsin 1932-09-09