Monthly Archives: March 2014

ADK Plane Crashes


Picture of crashed Grumman Goose airplane

Crash of Grumman Goose plane, 1/8/1957

Since the early 1900s, there have been nearly 200 documented significant plane crashes in the Adirondacks. DEC Raners maintain a database of these wreckages.  Occasionally a hiker or hunter will stumble upon one of the many old crashes scattered throughout the park and report it. When this happens, it’s important to determine if the wreckage is from a documented crash or one that has not been recorded.

The first recorded collision in the Adirondacks was of an early Wright biplane that crashed on Raquette Lake in 1912. Since then, there have been crashes of gliders, gyrocopters, helicopters and even a massive B-52.

Grumman Goose, nose down crash

Crash of Grumman Goose, 1957

In fairly recent history, hikers have come across two previously undiscovered plane crashes. In 1979, hikers in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area, wandering off trail near the Robinson River, caught a glimpse of an aircraft partially submerged in mud and water in a beaver meadow.  While it had obviously been there a long time, the hikers reported the sighting anyway.  Thankfully they did because the plane was a missing piper cub that was last seen departing Massena on December 4th, 1954.  At the time, the plane and the pilot had been the subjects of a massive search, but no trace of them had been found.  For a quarter of a century, the plane lay hidden by water and mud until a beaver dam released, revealing the aircraft.

In 1990, hikers climbing Boreas Mountain uncovered the wreckage of a plane near the summit.  The skeletal remains of the pilot were an obvious sign it was an undiscovered crash.  That plane, a Cessna U206A, had crashed in 1984.

from the New York State Conservationist, December 2013