Disaster on Mount Slesse: The Story of Western Canada's Worst Air Crash
A gripping account of Western Canada's worst aviation disaster. Mount Slesse, a jagged 2,500-metre peak near Chilliwack BC known locally as 'The Fang' lived up to its evil reputation on December 9, 1956, when Trans Canada Airlines Flight 810 slammed into it, killing all 62 aboard. For five months nobody knew what happened. Flight 810 had just disappeared into the night. Adding to the sensation was the fact that the flight carried five professional football players fresh from the CFL All Star game in Vancouver and a mystery man by the name of Kwan Song who was rumoured to be carrying a sizeable fortune in cash. Finally on May 10, 1957, a diminutive female mountaineer named Elfrida Pigou discovered the gruesome crash site, setting off a stampede of macabre treasure hunters. It wasn't until May 25, 1995, that the BC government placed a protective zone around the debris field, declaring it a Heritage Wreck Site. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of this historic tragedy, Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald have written a gripping, blow-by-blow account of western Canada's worst aviation disaster, carefully examining its context, causes and aftermath.
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The Flight 810 Crew
The North Star
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Abbotsford aboard Flight 810 air traffic control aircraft altitude avalanches Bjornson Calgary Canada Canadian Captain Cascades Chilliwack Clarke and Boon Clarke's climb climbers cloud crash crew Cultus Lake December 9 DeMarco Department of Transport east Elfrida Pigou Empire Stadium engine feet Fips Broda flew Flight 810 reported flyers flying Fraser Valley glacier Gordon Sturtridge helicopter Hope impact investigators Jack Clarke kilometres per hour knew later Max Abrams McDonald McGregor messages missing plane moun Mount Slesse mountain night North Star numbers Officer p.m. Flight Pacific Paddy Sherman passengers peaks piece pilot Province radio RCAF RCMP Regina remains rock Roughriders Seagrim Search and Rescue search headquarters searchers Sheahan Silvertip sixty-two Slesse's slopes snow Squadron storm story tain TCA's told took Trans-Canada Airlines Vancouver air traffic Vancouver Airport Vancouver International Airport Vancouver Sun veteran Vivian weather winds Winnipeg Wright