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Plane Crashes in Virginia, 77 Dead

Nov. 8, 1961 - A chartered airliner carrying Army recruits to a training camp crashed and burned 10 miles southeast of Richmond, Va., this evening. At least 77 persons were killed. The only survivors were the pilot and the flight engineer, who were hurled clear of the wreckage. The plane had taken off from Newark Airport at 6:22 p.m. with 26 enlistees and inductees from North Jersey. It picked up 31 more at Wilkes-Barre and 17 at Baltimore, and then took off for Fort Jackson, near Columbia, S.C. As it passed over Washington, the pilot radioed that he was having engine trouble and asked permission to land at Byrd Field, which was granted. The plane was making a final landing apporach when radio contact was broken off. A pink cloud and then a mushroom of flame lit up the horizon southeast of the field. The plane smashed into a ravine in a heavily wooded and marshy area so difficult to reach that it took two hours for the first fire engine to get to the scene. At that time, two engines were still burning.


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