One of the deceased passengers was an off-duty flight attendant who was assisting. On Friday October 2 in that year, at 1:14 p.m., a Martin 4-0-4 aircraft flown by Golden Eagle Aviation crashed into a mountain eight miles west of Silver Plume, Colorado. [6] The four-engined DC-6 was a large, powerful aircraft that could accommodate the entire team. Around 1 p.m., the chartered twin-engined propliner transporting the Wichita State University football team from Wichita, Kansas, crashed at the base of Mount Trelease, 8 … “Guys we lost who didn’t get to live their lives. Crash. Wichita State constructed a memorial for those who died from the crash called Memorial ‘70. Raymond and Yvonne King left behind seven children, ranging in ages from 18 to 4. It was one of two aircraft carrying the 1970 Wichita State Shockers football team to Logan, Utah, for a game against Utah State; the second aircraft flew a conventional route and arrived safely in Utah. When the plane entered the canyon, and the Rocky Mountains suddenly loomed near, and the pilot started banking, desperately trying to buy time, Christian looked back at Lewis. Trees remain down after being clipped by the wings of the airplane. Of the 31 people killed, 14 were Wichita State football players. The Shockers traveled in two planes. They took off and headed west to a refueling stopover in Denver at Stapleton Airport; from there they would continue to Logan Airport in northern Utah. [5][15][16] The remaining members of the Wichita State team, with the NCAA and Missouri Valley Conference allowing freshman players to fill out the squad, decided to continue the 1970 season; it was later designated the "Second Season. Team '70, those Shockers call their fallen teammates. “I asked Glenn, ‘you think it works? A plane carrying 26 student-athletes, athletic officials and some fans traveled to Logan, Utah for a game against Utah State. Some of the survivors started down the mountain, seeking help. Of the 40 on board, 31 died. The s… At Wichita State, there's no longer a football team to honor those who died in the crash. The scenery stopped in the canyon of Mount Trelease, above where the Eisenhower Tunnel was being constructed around I-70, 60 miles west of Denver. On 2 October 1970, a twin-engine plane carrying Wichita State University football players, staff and supporters crashed near Loveland Pass enroute to a game in Utah. Like everyone else, he was cut and burned. Pilot errors, including poor in-flight decisions and inadequate pre-flight planning, were officially reported as leading to the crash. Black & Gold: Remembering The WSU Plane Crash video by KPTS. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Tramel: How 1970 Wichita State football plane crash survivors are making sure their teammates aren't forgotten, OU football: Sooners headed to Cotton Bowl to play Florida, Congress seals agreement on COVID relief, government funding. Some have died. He explained his experience when he found out about the Gold Plane crash when they arrived in Logan. The Wichita State University football team plane crash refers to a 1970 plane crash. “While we mourn those we lost that day, we also focus on those who survived the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board report states that weather played no role in the accident,[7] and lists the probable cause to be that the pilot made improper decisions in-flight or in planning: "The intentional operation of the aircraft over a mountain valley route at an altitude from which the aircraft could neither climb over the obstructing terrain ahead, nor execute a successful course reversal. Lewis was sitting in the back of the plane, having migrated there in hopes he might entice a flight attendant to sit by him. [7] During the flight to Denver he visited passengers in the cabin, advising them that after refueling they would take a scenic route, near Loveland Ski Area and Mount Sniktau, the proposed alpine skiing venues for the 1976 Winter Olympics, recently awarded to Denver in May. [8], The two aircraft were dubbed "Gold" and "Black" after the school colors. They never arrived. I noticed we were quite a bit below the top of the mountains. The report concluded the crew did not allow enough time for the charts to be studied properly to avoid high terrain before takeoff commenced. “That was the last time I saw Johnny.”. They were bound for Logan, Utah, to play the Utah State University Aggies the following day. “We had friends we were losing in Vietnam, but nobody expected a bunch of guys to go play a Saturday afternoon football game not arriving.”. Could have been on Rusty Featherstone’s list. None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. They were thrown with their seats. Forty-three days after the Wichita State plane crash, the Marshall University football team plane crashed, returning from a game at East Carolina. 50 Years After the Wichita State Crash . Wichita State Crash Survivor Relives Details - The Oklahoman Crash site an important memorial for 'Gold Plane' family - Clear Creek Courant Triumph and tragedy: Scotties grad Barkell starred at Wichita State, recalls plane crash - Herald-Standard After takeoff in clear weather, the two aircraft took divergent paths away from Denver. He was thrown onto a pile of mangled mess. Today, a memorial below the crash site on Interstate 70 commemorates the tragedy, and the FAA has gone on to pass stricter regulations with each passing year. Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Nine people survived the crash. [7], Shortly before the crash, several witnesses described seeing an aircraft flying unusually low towards the Continental Divide. 3-1127, "Wichita State recalls a crash that killed 31", "Crash survivor remembers Wichita State's saddest day", "Sightseeing is blamed in fatal plane crash", "Forgotten tragedy: Survivors' quest to keep memories of 1970 Wichita State crash from fading", "Wichita State gives up football, too expensive", Mondout, Patrick (2005), 1970 Wichita State Football Crash Memorial: Pictures, Super70s.com, Retrieved 2009-09-10, Roadside memorial adjacent to I-70 near Colorado crash site, Present-day photos of crash site on Mount Trelease, 1960s photo of the accident aircraft in Mohawk Airlines livery, Wichita State University Football Team Airplane Crash Collection, Icelandair Flugfélag Islands Flight Fl 704, Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology, 1905 Washburn vs. Fairmount football game, Wichita State University football team plane crash, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wichita_State_University_football_team_plane_crash&oldid=994701139, Aviation accidents and incidents in the United States in 1970, Aviation accidents and incidents involving sports teams, Accidents and incidents involving the Martin 4-0-4, Aviation accidents and incidents caused by pilot error, Airliner accidents and incidents in Colorado, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 December 2020, at 02:49. When Featherstone left John Marshall, Duren was a runt on the B team. Another 14 were university staff members and football boosters. I don’t want ‘em to be forgotten.”. He wants his home state to remember the four victims from Oklahoma. Duren told Featherstone there was an empty seat on the black plane. All 75 people aboard died. Survivors, friends and family will convene at the Wichita Country Club to console and reminisce about the lives lost. [4][7] The load of fuel on board did not explode immediately, allowing survivors to escape the wreckage, but the passenger cabin was eventually consumed by an explosion before those still alive and trapped inside could escape. • Randy Kiesau, defensive back, Clinton High School. Featherstone was on the plane that didn’t crash. Entertainers Bill Cosby and Monty Hall hosted a fundraiser for the Wichita State athletic department after the crash. “I stayed where I was,” Featherstone said. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... A roadside memorial plaque listing the names of the victims is located near the Colorado crash site, adjacent to westbound Interstate 70, at Dry Gulch at milepost 217 (39°41′47″N 105°52′25″W / 39.6965°N 105.8736°W / 39.6965; -105.8736), about two miles (3 km) east of the Eisenhower Tunnel. And Featherstone specifically wants Oklahomans to remember four of the 31: Four Oklahomans among the 31 aboard an airplane that entered a Colorado canyon and never came out. Lewis’ mother turned hysterical, crying and yelling. Over the years, hikers have left behind mementos and other paraphernalia at site of the Wichita State University 1970 plane crash. Credit: Denver Post (Denver Post via Getty Images) Denver Post Denver Post The starters generally flew on the gold plane, but Featherstone mistakenly still was assigned to the black plane for the trip. He said that he would die young and would be a plane crash. Lewis’ seat belt was off. [14], 1970 Wichita State Shockers football team, Mondout, Patrick (2005), Air Crash In Rockies Kills Wichita State Football Players, Super70s.com, Retrieved 2009-09-10, NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, SA-421, File No. [4] At 1:14 p.m. MDT, the "Gold" aircraft struck trees on the east slope of Mount Trelease, 1,600 feet (490 m) below its summit, and crashed. Memorial '70: Survivors reflect on life after WSU plane crash - KAKE News For 50 years, those Shockers have assembled in October to commemorate the lives lost. “We always thought the 50th would be the biggest” reunion, Featherstone said. Newspaper clippings, including The Sunflower, Wichita State News, and Midway, regarding the plane crash, the memorial, and follow-up stories on the victim’s families. Gary, 16, and his older sister, Mary Lynne, had to grow up in a hurry. 31 out of the 40 people on board were killed. A likeness of the football helmet for the Wichita State Shockers, circa 1970, is draped by a cap as teammates, family members and friends visit the crash site near Loveland Pass on July 27, west of Silver Plume, Colo. Wreckage from the plane, which was one of two being used to take the Shockers to play a football game against Utah State University in Logan, Utah, is still scattered on the mountain top … Every year on October 2 at 9 a.m., a wreath is placed at this memorial. Wichita State University Football Team Plane Crashes in Clear Creek Canyon. “Some of the greatest young men/athletes that ever came out of our state,” Featherstone said. Lewis and teammate Glenn Kostal were placed in a miner’s shack so they could lay down. Lewis was lying on the ground when he realized all his clothes were gone, shorn off by the trees. [6] "Gold", the aircraft that later crashed, carried the starting players, head coach, and athletic director, as well as their wives, other administrators, boosters, and family. Fifty years ago today — Oct. 2, 1970 — I walked into the student newspaper office at Utah State University expecting to be given media credentials for the first college Greg Hansen: Remembering the Wichita State plane crash, 50 years later | Greg Hansen | tucson.com In clear and calm weather in Colorado at 1:14 p.m. MDT on Friday, October 2, 1970, a chartered Martin 4-0-4 airliner crashed into a mountain eight miles (13 km) west of Silver Plume. "[11], The overloaded aircraft,[12][13] nearing Loveland Pass as it flew up Clear Creek Valley, became trapped in a box canyon and was unable to climb above the mountain ridges surrounding it on three sides, nor complete a reversal turn away from the sharply rising terrain. A roadside memorial plaque listing the names of the victims is located near the Colorado crash site, adjacent to westbound Interstate 70. Lewis and Donnie Christian were best friends in Duncan. [5], Classes at Wichita State were canceled for Monday, October 5, and a memorial service was held that evening on campus at Cessna Stadium. Wichita State plane crash survivor takes on a mission of remembrance The first time Rick Stephens descended Mount Trelease, near Silver Plume, Colorado, he faded in and out of consciousness. Wichita State wide receiver John Yeros was on the Black Plane. He heard people moaning from inside the plane, but it was engulfed in flames. And beyond. All the girls loved him. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. PHOTOS: 50 years after the Wichita State plane crash in 1970, remains still lie on the mountain near Silver Plume, Colorado. They know that at some point, the memorials and memories will burn only in their souls. [7], About three months before the crash, Wichita State contracted Golden Eagle Aviation to supply a Douglas DC-6B, to fly the team to away games for the 1970 season. When the aircrafts stopped for fueling in Denver, the players stretched their legs on the tarmac. Some witnesses located on higher mountainside locations, such as Loveland Pass at 11,990 feet (3,655 m), reported seeing it flying below them. Now as a news anchor, KDVR and KWGN in Denver, Hubbard recently published a documentary called “Overshadowed: The Wichita State Football Plane Crash”.. Hubbard said he didn’t know much about the crash besides the memorial on campus and became fascinated as he got further on into the … It crashed around 1 p.m. about 40 miles west of Denver on Mount Trelease. So for 50 years, he’s remembered not just the names and faces, but the spirit that made those names and faces soar. You can also view his personality page at oklahoman.com/berrytramel. 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