listen live
Luke Lovelace

ON AIR STAFF
Luke Lovelace
full schedule

107.7 FM NOW ON THE AIR
Current weather in Hendersonville, NC 32° Dec 16's Weather
Clear
HI: 46 LOW: 26
Your Forecast

50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE OF COLLISION AND CRASH OF PIEDMONT FLIGHT 22

50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE OF COLLISION AND CRASH OF PIEDMONT FLIGHT 22 50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE OF COLLISION AND CRASH OF PIEDMONT FLIGHT 22

SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE OBSERVANCE 11:30AM JULY 19 IN FRONT OF THE HISTORIC COURTHOUSE   

On July 19, 1967 at 12:01pm Piedmont Airlines Flight 22, a Boeing 727, and a Cessna 310 were involved in a midair collision over Hendersonville, NC. All occupants of Flight 22, including 74 passengers and five crew members, along with the three occupants of the Cessna were killed. The Cessna disintegrated in the air and the Boeing 727 crashed in a wooded area between Interstate 26 and Camp Pinewood. Hundreds of people witnessed the collision and crash.

The rescue squad, county fire departments, police, sheriff’s deputies and medical personnel responded immediately. The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes and Rescue Squad members began the grim task of searching the dense smoke-filled woods for survivors. It quickly became apparent that there were none. The Henderson County Rescue Squad let the recovery efforts with assistance from over 400 volunteers from throughout North Carolina and South Carolina.

It was through the first responders’ sacrifice and dedication to service that Henderson County was able to recover. Federal officials gave high praise to the responding Fire and Law Enforcement departments and the Rescue Squad for their organization and professionalism. The Henderson County Rescue Squad received commendations from the US Senate, Piedmont Airlines, the US Department of Transportation and the Governor for the Volunteers’ bravery during the disaster.

The Henderson County Heritage Museum, in conjunction with the Henderson County Rescue Squad, will conduct a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the crash on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 11:30am in front of the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hendersonville. The public is invited to attend this free event. Speakers will honor the 82 lives lost in the crash and also honor the emergency response from Henderson County and Western North Carolina. Paul Houle, author of The Crash of Piedmont Airlines Flight 22: Completing the Record of the 1967 Midair Collision near Hendersonville, North Carolina, will also speak about the crash and the improvements made in airline safety as a result. There will also be a display of historic photos from the event, video accounts from eye witnesses and a piece of fused metal from the crash.

According to Mark Shepherd, Captain, Henderson County Rescue Squad, “This was one of the largest disasters ever to hit Western North Carolina. It also caused one of the largest emergency responses in area history.”

CITY PLANS SPECIAL REMEMBRANCE

The city of Hendersonville has proclaimed July 19, 2017 as “Flight 22 Day of Remembrance” to mark the 50th anniversary of the mid-air collision that claimed 82 lives.

The City Council adopted the resolution during their Thursday meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “one of the most disastrous days in North Carolina aviation history.”

“At 12:01 p.m. on July 19, 1967, a mid-air collision over the skies of Hendersonville as Piedmont Flight 22, a Boeing 727 carrying 79 men, women and children, enroute from the Asheville-Hendersonville to Roanoke, Virginia, collided with a private Cessna 310B carrying one crew member and two passengers, tragically resulting in the loss of 82 lives,” the resolution reads.

“Countless local unsung heroes — our local law enforcement officers, paramedics, doctors, nurses and countless volunteer firefighters and others throughout our region — risked their own personal safety and served days upon days to provide whatever assistance they could.

“Remembrances continue to linger in the minds of family members, friends, residents, those who witnessed, and those who assisted with the tragic event here that day.”

The city is encouraging residents, Henderson County government and its other municipalities to fly American flags at half-staff beginning July 17 and continuing through sunset July 19 in honor and remembrance of those lives lost.