North Baldface Mountain, N.H. – August 2, 1982

North Baldface Mountain,

Bean’s Purchase, New Hampshire


     On the afternoon of August 2, 1982, a single-engine Piper Cherokee, (N5566F), left Laconia Airport bound for Portland, Maine, on what was to be a sight-seeing flight.  The pilot was a 28-year-old male, and his passenger was a 22-year-old female.

     The weather at the time was good, but as they flew in the vicinity of North Baldface Mountain they encountered thick clouds and a sudden thunderstorm which caused them to crash about one-thousand feet below the 3,570 foot summit of the mountain.  The mountain is located near the New Hampshire-Maine border in a township known as Bean’s Purchase.    

     The aircraft clipped off a few tree tops before impacting the side of the mountain and catching fire. The female passenger was thrown clear and suffered a broken shoulder.  The pilot was killed instantly. 

     The woman now found herself alone in the wilderness without any way to call for help, and without any survival provisions.  She had also lost her shoes in the crash, and was barefoot.  With no food or shelter, she decided to hike down the mountain.  At some point she came to the Wild River and began following it downstream.  Twenty-four hours after the accident she stumbled into a riverside campground about nine miles from the crash site.  People there tended to her until an ambulance arrived and took the woman to a medical facility for treatment.

     Searchers then began looking for the missing aircraft, and located it the following day and recovered the pilot. 


     Providence Sunday Journal, “A Woman Fights Her Way Through New Hampshire Wilderness To Escape Death”, August 8, 1982, page 1, and A-16      


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