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Thread: 32 years ago today...

  1. #1
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    32 years ago today...

    [B][SIZE="4"][/SIZE]Gillsburg Plane Crash Kills Six,
    Hurts 20 Including Rock Singers[/B]

    A twin-engine airplane, apparently out of fuel, crashed before 7p.m. Thursday in a wooded area of
    Amite County near Gillsburg. [B]Six persons including the lead singer of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd[/B]
    were killed and 20 were injured. The propeller-driven Convair 240 skidded across tree tops for about
    100 yards, then slammed into a swampy area and split open about eight miles short of McComb
    Airport after reporting it was having fuel trouble or was running low on fuel", an Air Traffic Controller
    reported. [B]The dead included lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie
    Gaines, Gaines sister, medical authorities said. Pilot Walter Wiley McCreary and co-pilot William
    John Gray, both of Dallas Texas, and Dean Kilpatrick, assistant road manager for the group, also
    died officials said.[/B] Six other members of the hard rock band were injured, two hurt critically and four
    hospitalized in stable condition. The injured, some of them also in critical condition, included
    members of the group's road crew and a cameraman, said officials of Southwest Mississippi Medical
    Center. The chartered plane owned by L&J Co. of Addison Texas, came down on its nose southwest
    of McComb, twisting the cockpit to the left, and threw seven or eight persons to the ground when it
    split open at about the middle of the fuselage, it was believed. The impact, which triggered no fire,
    tossed other passengers toward the front of the aircraft. "They were all in front of the plane and they
    were all shouting, get me out, get me, get me." said Constable Gerrald Wall. "We were actually
    standing on people to get others out". Johnny Mote, who lives near the crash site close to the
    Mississippi-Louisiana border, said the plane "sounded like a car skidding in gravel" as it clipped the
    trees. "When it hit the ground it was a deep rumble, like it was underground. It sounded like wrinkling
    metal" he said. The group was en route from a Wednesday night performance in Greenville South
    Carolina to a Friday night concert before an expected crowd of 10,000 persons at Louisiana State
    University in Baton Rouge. The plane had passed McComb when it reported that it was having fuel
    trouble, and was told by the Houston Texas flight center to turn around and land at McComb, said
    Everett Fairly, an air traffic controller at McComb. "I tried to call them, but we couldn't raise them, and
    Houston reported it had lost radar and radio contact", Fairly said. A spokesman for the Federal
    Administration in Atlanta Georgia said the pilot had reported being low on fuel. Thick undergrowth
    hampered rescue operations and some emergency vehicles became stuck in the mud when they tried
    to drive through the woods to get close to the aircraft. Rescue crews were also hindered by a 20-foot
    wide, waist deep creek they had to cross to reach the plane. Pickup trucks and vans were used along
    with ambulances to carry the dead and injured to hospitals. A Southwest Medical Center spokesman
    said identification of the victims were complicated because passengers were apparently playing
    poker before the plane went down and had there wallets and identification papers out. Fairly said a
    small jet was landing at McComb at the time the plane was reported in difficulty and ask the jet pilot to
    fly over the area. "But it was very dark and the pilot said he could see nothing from the air," Fairly said.
    The plane came down near open pasture land, tearing off one of the wings and twisting the other.
    Recuers had to rip open the nose to get to victims. Two bulldozers were used to cut a path through the
    woods and brush from nearby Mississippi 568. Donald Chase who lives about five miles from the
    area, said he heard "that the plane was having engine trouble because it was sputtering." Mote said
    he was putting some hay out when three bloody survivors who had made their way through the woods
    called him for help. "One of them was hugging me around the neck and telling me, "We got to get
    them out." Mote estimated it took up to 3 1/2 hours to remove all the bodies from the plane. Michael
    White who lives in Gillsburg, said he and his family heard the engines of the airplane sputtering about
    6:45pm. "I guess it crashed about 6:47pm" he said, but were unable to find the plane."I called the
    airport about 7:00pm," he said, but was told there was no plane in the area. The Pike County Civil
    Defense said the crash was reported to its office shortly before 7pm.

  2. #2
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    that was my saddest rcok & roll day...those guys were my favorite band I had just seen them at Nassau Colliseum a month or two prior

  3. #3
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    [URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDdTV4s17EQ[/URL]

    what a great clip this is...

    Steve Gaines is the guitarist with the T shirt, Allen Collins plays the long solo, and Gary Rossington, they only man still standing finishes up.
    Last edited by jetswin; 10-20-2009 at 02:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    I remember the accident like it were yesterday. I was part of a group of Skynyrd maniacs in college. RIP to all who lost their lives.

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFl0nlHaWa4[/url]

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sF0bQBOsFM&feature=related[/url]
    Last edited by Borgoguy; 10-20-2009 at 02:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    Rossington Collins did Freebird live with no vocals and a lone spot shining on the lead microphone.

    :rip:

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov03-aXIrDM[/url]

  6. #6
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    [URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT8r_YfaXQ4[/URL]

    too bad he didn't roll that right into Swamp Music
    Last edited by jetswin; 10-20-2009 at 02:36 PM.

  7. #7
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    That right there's my favorite Skynyrd tune, J-dub. :yes:

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=freestater;3320973]That right there's my favorite Skynyrd tune, J-dub. :yes:[/QUOTE]
    same!

  9. #9
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    [URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzU2iJ9qfXg[/URL]

    oh hell yeah

  10. #10
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    My wife and I with Billie Powell, the latest original Skynyrd member to go to Rock and Roll Heaven. And considered by many to be the greatest rock and roll keyboardist of all time.

    [/I][IMG]http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/23/l_d49bd26eb8e74e09bd8119877ea93eb3.jpg[/IMG]

  11. #11
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    Great music! I thought of them everytime I went thru Statesboro, GA.

  12. #12
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    [URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY63KTMrkTM&feature=related[/URL]

    give yourself 9 minutes for this classic

  13. #13
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    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-_8xivRTsY[/url]

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