James Bard dies in plane wreck-TDN-p.12-18 Oct 1954 continued
THE DAILY NEWS, HUNTINGDON AND MOUNT UNION, PA., MONDAY, a of is to up it Plane Burns After Hitting Pole;-Pilot Killed Only the metal framework remains of the Piper Cub in which James Bard of Germany Valley was killed yesterday afternoon. The plane caught fire after it struck a pole and power lines at the northeast end of the Mount Union Airport. Lester Gashaw, airport manager, is shown, m light outfit at right, inspecting the fire-blackened wreckage. —Photor By Blair Shore must be a matter of record." "Can't talk about it" said the old news reporter now gone bureaucrat. "What is your salary?" "No comment." "You realize that when the taxpayers taxpayers pay a man's salary, that also must be a matter of public record," Mitchell was reminded. "Yes." "And you still don't want to comment?" "No comment." "You say you want to be helpful helpful as one reporter to another, and yet you don't even want to answer purely factual questions which obviously must be a matter of public record?" Mr. Mitchell's voice trailed off. "You'll have to talk to the Jenner Jenner committee," he said weak'\ Tomorrow this column will publish publish "the full text of one of Mr Mitchell's reports to the Jenner Committee on the Morgenthau diaries pluji side remarks on Archivist Kahn and Fulton Lewis, Jr. (Continued from First Page) Street, Mount Union. Both Bboher' and Bard took flying flying lessons at the same time from Lester Gashaw, manager of the Mount Union Airport. Bard, an employe of the Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Electric Company, was an orphan and had made his permanent home with Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Grove of Germany Valley, Mount Union, R. D., since being discharged from the U. S. Navy in 1946. He was a lineman with Penelec's Construction Department Department working out of Altoona, but spent his week-ends at the Grove home. Sunday's crash happened at 3:40 o'clock, "about two minutes after B'ard took off in the Cub. Bard took off from the west, into the wind. He made a left turn after being airborne and was coming back over the field from the south at the time of the accident. One eye-witness said the Cub was about 300 feet in the air when it dropped suddenly and hit the 35-foot pole carrying the electric electric service (110-voltV lines. The right wing of the plane coltopsed immediately as the pole hit it near the fuselage. The wheels of the small plane snapped the power lines at the same instant. Hooper and Booher said that the plane became a mass of flames immediately. By the time it plunged to the grounti about 100 feet away the entire fuselage and most of the two wings were burning burning fiercely. The pole was snapped off at the ground level and carried forward with the plane so that part of it wasi under the wreckage. Bard had the throttle wide open at the time of the crack-up. As the plane dropped downward from 300 feet the wheels hit the top branches of a tree that extended higher than the pole, Hooper stated. The eye-witnesses said there was no fire prior to the time the plane struck the pole. This close-up view shows the motor and front portion of the Pipei Cub in which James Bard, 26, of .Mount Union, R. D., was killed yesterday. yesterday. The plane caught fire after hitting a 35-foot utility pole. Before the takeoff, Bard had filled the plane's 12-gallon gas tank which was located at the front of the craft. It is believed the gas tank exploded and sprayed the burning liquid over the entire plane. Hooper, Booher and Drake rushed rushed to the burning wreckage and John Booher was summoned from his home which is located a short distance away. Both the Mount Union Fire Company and the Mount Union ambulance were summoned by members of the Booher family, a on orders from Hooper. Seconds after the plane crashed to the ground the four men were trying valiantly to get Bard from the cockpit of the crushed and burning plane. Bard was held fast and kept calling for help as the flames started to burn his hair and clothing. With almost superhuman superhuman strength and at the urging of his buddies, he wiggled free and i pushed himself 10 feet along the j edge of the burning wing. Ralph i Booher used a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to hold back the fire while Bard inched his way from the plane. As Bard started to weaken and the flames began to gain headway. Booher went into the inferno and pulled Bard to a j point where the others grabbed him by the shoulders and hauled him free of the fire. Bard's clothing- clothing- was burned completely from | his body. He never lost consciousness. consciousness. The fabric-covered plane went j up in smoke in matter of minutes. It is a complete loss, only the metal framework remaining. The aircraft, a 1941 model, was owned by the Mount Union Aviation Corporation. Corporation. It was .valued at about S5QO. Airport Manager Gashaw was in the air at the time in a Piper J-5. Seeing the smoke from the burning plane, he flew over the wreckage and landed immediately at the field. Hooper is learning to fly and he 1 landed at the field in the ill-fated plane at 3:25 after taking one hour of flying instruction. The plane worked perfectly during the one-hour flight, Hooper stated. It was powered by a 65-horsepower Lycoming engine. Bard took over the Cub and taxied to the pumps where the gas tank was filled before before he Look off on his last flight. Bard's takeoff was described aa "excellent." Bard had been flying- for more than two years and had 250 hours of time to his credit. He spent most of his spare time at the airport. airport. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1944 when only 16 years of ag"e and completed his enlistment in 1946, going to live with the Groves at' that time. He never married. A brother, Russell E. Bard of Lewistown, also is a Penelec' em- ploye. The deceased, a son of Russell David and Mary (Harper) Bard, was born in Shirley Township, Shirleysburg, R. D., on December 12, 192S. He attended elementary school in Shirley Township and went to high school while residing in Ohio for several years. He was of the Presbyterian faith. Survivors include the following sister and brothers: Mrs. Richard (Faye) Ross of Greenville, Ohio, Russell E. Bard of Lewistown and Thomas E. Bard of Arcanum, Ohio. The body was turned over to Undertaker J. Bland Clark of Mount Union to be prepared for burial. Funeral services will be held on Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Clark funeral home . in Mount Union. Interment will be made in the Germany Valley Cemetery. Cemetery. There will be no viewing of the body. Friends will be received at the funeral home after noon on Wednesday.