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Searchers find remains of 1957 aircraft wreck

On May 9, a group of seven determined hikers scaled the steep slopes of the Green Mountains near Chittenden to search for the long-lost site of a 1957 crash of a U.S. Army de Havilland L-20 Beaver aircraft. All four officers in the plane died in the crash of the Canadian-built aircraft.

Search leader Brian Lindner had been fascinated with the wreck for several years. He accumulated a file of information about the plane, its occupants, as well as personal opinions and thoughts that he believed helped narrow the search for the crash area.

According to Linder, the wreck was located within a swath of the ridge approximately one-half mile wide by four miles long. Before embarking on the search, Linder had expressed doubts that any wreckage would remain after 50 years.

"Lady Luck prevailed and about a half hour after we started sweeping along the east flank of the ridge Brian and I stumbled into two pieces of the radial engine," said fellow search-team member Peter Fisk, a pilot.

"Further search located some cabin pieces and a gear leg. Bingo! Brian has been in touch with the family of the L-20's pilot-his son is a retired Navy admiral I think-and they will visit soon to memorialize their lost father. So, in addition to being a treasure hunt we helped provide some closure for a family."

According to the Rutland-area EAA Green Mountain Flyers chapter based at the Rutland Airport, the de Havilland L-20 Beaver was used in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. The Beaver's wide landing gear made it useful in rugged, "bush" applications. In 1962, the L-20 was renumbered as the U-6. The Beaver was manufactured by deHavilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd.

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