Villager Survives Plane Crash, Jokes About It


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January 26, 1961, Vol. VI, No. 14

Villager Unhurt as Plane Pancakes

Jack Keenan, a Village resident and labor-relations man, did not plan to drop in on McKeesport last Friday morning. He made an unscheduled visit to the Pennsylvania city when the plane he was riding in crashed into a snow-covered hillside in the vicinity.

Keenan and three other men were heading for New York from Marietta, Ohio, in a single-engined aircraft. Suddenly, Keenan said, the engine “started making ‘ping ping’ noises.” Moments later, the engine ceased all activity, noisy or otherwise. Local airports attempted to guide the pilot in by radar, but by then the plane was only a thousand feet above ground.

“The pilot told us to hold on,” Keenan continued. “This sounded like good advice because a mountain was looming up right in front of us. We pancaked onto the side of it, hit some trees, but kept right on going up to the peak. The plane finally stopped in a snow field on the other side. Somehow, nobody got hurt.

“There was an ex-Marine with us,” Keenan continued. “He was stranded at Marietta airport so we’d made room for him with us. All he did when he got out of the wreck was light a big cigar and say: “Listen, don’t ever do me any more favors.”

The four battered travelers managed to make their way to a farmhouse, and then into McKeesport.

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