Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

Divers Recover Plane That Crashed in 1958

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AP Wire
August 13, 2005

Divers on Saturday recovered a single engine military plane that crashed into Green Lake during fog nearly 47 years ago, killing a Minnesota National Guard pilot.

More than 50 boats filled with curious spectators circled the site where the recovery operation was taking place, and dozens of people lined the shoreline nearly a mile way for the chance to watch as the Cessna L-19 "Birddog" was pulled from water 40 feet deep.

The daylong recovery effort included volunteers with the Kandiyohi County dive team, Emergency Support Services Association and the Midwest Technical Rescue Training Association, both of Minneapolis.

"Actually, things went excellent," said Mike Roe, recently retired water patrol director with the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's office who oversaw the operations.

Divers used a large winch mounted on a pontoon boat to hoist the airplane from the bottom. They kept the aircraft submerged below a second pontoon boat which they used to tow it to shore.

The crash on Oct. 14, 1958, took the life of Captain Richard P. Carey, 36, who was returning to the Willmar airfield from Rochester when his plane went down at 12:30 a.m.

Along with recovering the plane, divers were able to retrieve some of the items carried by Carey, along with the flight log, parachutes and headphones.

Carey had been in radio contact with the Willmar air field and warned about the foggy conditions, but said he was low on fuel and needed to land.

In his last radio call, he reported that he hit something, later believed to have been seagulls. His body was recovered 13 days later.

After that, countless unsuccessful searches for the plane were made. The plane was discovered by accident on July 4, 2004 by Corey Fladeboe of Willmar and Brett Almquist of Maple Lake as they scanned the bottom with an underwater camera is search of walleyes.

The Spicer American Legion Post and the City of Spicer are planning to restore the airplane and place it on permanent display as a memorial to its pilot and all of those who have served in the Armed Forces, said Spicer Mayor Bill Taylor.


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