How 2 Local Pilots Were Rescued After Plane Crashed into Alaskan Mountainside
Upstate New Yorkers Fred Northup and James Feola of Cassville, both 62-years-old, crashed their Cessna 182 airplane into an unfrequented and remote frigid mountainside in Alaska, "hard enough that one of its wings was gone, and their gear scattered across the" terrain.
A National Guard rescue team already in the area searching for stranded hikers, spotted the crash site near a glacier on the north side of "Mount Hawkins — a rarely-climbed, 10,000-foot peak a little further than halfway along their route. Unsafe weather conditions prevented the rescue for over 36-hours. Amazingly, the two men only suffered minor injuries and Northrup's daughter, Sara spoke to WIBX's Keeler Show on Thursday to describe exactly what happened.
"When they landed, the (airplane's) compartment popped open and all of their gear was scattered out so they couldn’t get to it," said Northup. She said the only thing that they could get to "was the tent my father brought, but there were no poles," so she said they draped the tent from the plane wreckage and packed snow around it for insulation." That's how they survived nearly 2 nights in the windy, sub freezing conditions.
Northup said that after 24-hours at the wreckage, the duo sent another distress communication that claimed they wouldn't be able to survive another night. Fortunately, weather conditions improved for a brief period and the National Guard rescue crews were able to fly a helicopter into the crash-site early Monday morning, and rescue the two Mohawk Valley men.
Northup said her mom and sister flew out to be with her father and they are all expected to fly home on Friday. So stay tuned, as it's expected that the two pilots will take full advantage of the fact that they both lived to tell what is anticipated to be an amazing survival story, once they finally reach the safety of home sweet home.
Listen to the entire interview with Sara Northup-Lynch below.