Two Students Will Fly Again Despite Crash

Although his plane was demolished when it crashed into the Pennsylvania Turnpike Tuesday, pilot Thomas L. Hall '53 said last night he and his companion John C. Wright '54 were not through with flying.

"We're wiser, but we're both anxious to get up again," he said and added. "We just didn't turn quick enough." They were returning from Oberlin, Ohio, where Wright was visiting a girl friend.

Hall said he followed the Turnpike on his way to New York, when about 3:15 p.m. showers and fog began to make flying difficult. The two-seater Cessna plane was approaching the rise two miles before the Laurel Hill Tunnel (near Somerset), but the hill, surrounding mountains, and low clouds prevented Hall from climbing or turning around.

Hits Trailer Truck

Trucks were bunched on the hill. Hall wanted to land in the right lane where a truck had seen the plane and stopped traffic. A line of trees prevented him, however. He tried the center strip, but the landing gear hit a west-bound trailer truck and the plane nose-dived into the highway.


"Everything was wrecked except the cabin," Hall said, describing their escape. He was uninjured; Wright suffered slight cuts and bruises and spent a night in Mr. Pleasant Hospital, Westmoreland County.