Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

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Scott Whitney
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:18 am

Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby Scott Whitney » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:52 am

Does anyone remember the Lisle Funeral airplane crash in January of 1970. The plane left Fresno Air Terminal bound for Nevada in poor weather. It crashed in the mountains near Jackson. 3 people were on board -Don Schaefer (pilot) - Bob Starr (joy ride) and another man who was going to Nevada to retrieve his brother's casket. The weather was so bad, searchers were unable to find the wreckage for 10 days. Miraculously Bob Starr and the other passenger were sill alive. (the pilot died on impact) They survived by staying in the wrecked fuselage of plane. On the 10th day Bob Starr attempted to walk to safety. By chance a helicopter pilot saw footprints in the snow and discovered Bob unconscious.

The survivors were flown to a hospital in Mariposa and several days later flown to Fresno where the Hoover High School band greeted them with much fanfare. (Bob was a recent graduate of Hoover) All these facts are what I recall from memory. I'm trying to gather any information possible about this incident because I was supposed to be on that plane. Bob and I were co-workers at Fresno Air Service where the Lisle Cessna was hangared. (kind of like a gas station for private aviation) Don invited me to go too, but I declined because the weather at the time was poor and getting worse. Any information would be appreciated.

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
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Re: Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby Lost Fresno » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:57 am

Hello there. Are you sure Bob Starr was a student at Hoover? I think he was from McLane as he was a very good friend of mine and I remember this event! Good luck on your search. Below is in about air ambulance/hearse services.
Attachments
air hearse.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - April 17, 1966

Scott Whitney
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:18 am

Re: Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby Scott Whitney » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:35 pm

Thank you. It might have been McLane. I just remember the marching band greeting him at Fresno Air Terminal. PS: Earlier in the day I had told my parents I was going on the flight. When I decided not to go, I went to study at City College library. Later I hung out with some friends. In the meantime the plane went missing and the local TV (CH 47 ??) reported it. My mom saw the TV and freaked out. A short time later I arrived at home where my Mom hysterically greeted me, hugged me so tight I thought she was going to break my back and then beat the tar out of me for "scarring the hell" out of her.

flyguy

Re: Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby flyguy » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:21 pm

The plane went down on Jan 11th and was found Jan 26, 1970. Gene Ebell was the other survivor and the flight was to retrieve his uncle. He was going to be left to drive his aunt back to Fresno for the service. Don Shaver was the pilot and died in the crash. Bob Starr was a senior at McLane and the plane was a Cessna 206 (N5085U). Good thing you did not go. It was no fun.

Bob Starr

*Note from admin: Newspaper clipping added from Fresno Bee in 1970
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Bee.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - Jan. 12, 1970

Scott Whitney
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:18 am

Re: Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby Scott Whitney » Sat May 23, 2015 2:05 pm

to the Administrator: Thank you for updating Bob's post with a copy of the newspaper clipping. (I never saved any of the newspaper clippings because this incident bothered me greatly) As I look back, I've always wished I had done more to persuade the pilot to cancel the flight.

Here is a link to the NTSB accident report: http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviat ... 4729&key=0

flyguy
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Re: Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby flyguy » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:18 pm

Don't feel bothered Scott. Don had just returned from a trip where he had tangled with some ice and beat it. It was speculated he then had an over confidence when it came to ice. I am not sure if anyone could have convinced him to not go. The ice accumulated so quickly that his only chance was to immediaetly turn around (as all instrument pilots are taught to do). I am not sure why he continued on. Only after the plane failed to reach the clearance altitude did he turn around, but by then it was a flying ice cube. We lost 4,000 feet in the turn and continued to go down at 300 feet per minute. Only a matter of time till metal met ground. I am sorry Don died. He was a nice guy and was very supportive with us student pilots.

Lost Fresno
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Re: Lisle Air Crash - January 1970

Postby Lost Fresno » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:04 pm

I had a chance to correspond with Bob Starr last year after not seeing him since McLane High School. I saw this ad for the Lisle Funeral home and their new aircraft addition as well as their two Cessna 206 and it reminded me of this story.
Attachments
lisle cessna.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - Jan. 7, 1969


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