Laud he­li­copter pi­lot for his ac­tion

The Beacon (Gander) - - News -

Ed­i­tor’s Note: Ar­ti­cle orig­i­nally ap­peared in the Sept. 13, 1967 edi­tion of the Bea­con.

Austin Gar­rett, a vet­eran of World War II, and a vet­eran he­li­copter pi­lot with East­ern Pro­vin­cial Air­ways, was the topic of hun­dreds here dur­ing the past week for the man­ner in which he as­sisted dur­ing last Tues­day’s crash of a Cze­choslo­vakian IL-18 Air­craft at Gan­der.

Forty min­utes af­ter the plane crashed, Gar­rett and his he­li­copter were en­route to the grisly burn­ing wreck­age lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately 4500 feet from the end of Run­way 32.

Op­er­at­ing in the dark­ness, the only light to guide Gar­rett to the crash site was from the light from the burn­ing plane. For nearly seven hours the vet­eran pi­lot flew the sur­vivors and then the bod­ies to the air­port. On re­turn trips he would carry sup­plies and per­son­nel to the wreck­age.

At the be­gin­ning it would take the he­li­copter 12 min­utes to fly from the Tar­mac to the crash site and back; how­ever later in the morn­ing, Gar­rett was mak­ing the round trip in just six min­utes.

Later in the morn­ing a sec­ond he­li­copter flown by Har­vey Johnson as­sisted in bring­ing out sur­vivors and the bod­ies.

Gar­rett, who has been fly­ing he­li­copters for the past nine years, is mar­ried to the for­mer Kath­leen Her­rerton, Grand Falls. They have four chil­dren.

The bod­ies of 29 pas­sen­gers and crew of Cze­choslo­vakian Air­lines who were killed in a crash at Gan­der on Tues­day, Sept. 4, were re­turned to Prague on Sun­day morn­ing. Be­fore the bod­ies were loaded on­board an air­craft a cer­e­mony was held on the tar­mac of the In­ter­na­tional Ter­mi­nal. The cer­e­mony was at­tended by dig­ni­taries of the Cze­choslo­vakian gov­ern­ment and Cze­choslo­vakian air­lines. Lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­cluded: Mr. Roland Goodyear, Mr. Jack James, Air­port Man­age; Mag­is­trate Jack A. White, rep­re­sent­ing the crown; Hon. C. R. Granger, MHA for Gan­der; and Mr. Jim Tucker, fed­eral mem­ber for Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion.

Austin Gar­rett

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