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Broken up metal from a crashed airliner that went down in Harriman State Park in 1974.

Remains of Northwest Airlines flight 6231, scattered in the forest in Harriman State Park, south of Lake Welch, between the Old Turnpike and the Long Path.

Some time ago I wrote about looking for a plane that went down in Harriman State Park in 1974.  It was Northwest Airlines flight 6231 from New York, chartered by the Baltimore Colts.  The plane, with three crew members, was heading to Buffalo, New York, to pick up the team, when it stalled over Harriman.  It plunged into the woods one icy night in December.

I’d read the FAA report of the crash, and the co ordinates were given in error.  Which led to me stumbling around in a swamp for a little while this summer.

If the co-ordinates had been correct, however, I would have found the wreck sooner.  Yesterday, I found it by looking at a historic aerial photo from 1975, and then going to the place.  I biked in on the Turnpike, then walked to coordinates  N 41° 12.903 W 074° 05.335

New York Times article from 1974 reporting death of three in plane crash, Harriman State Park NY

Article from New York Times, 1974.

The plane’s remains are located in a sunny, ferny glen between the Long Path and the Old Turnpike, south of Lake Welch.

You can see lots of debris there.  It’s scattered under the ferns, lots of it.  Dusky aqua-green metal, old rivets, twisted stuff that’s unidentifiable to those of us who don’t know much about airplanes.

Part of an airplane that crashed in Harriman State Park 40 years ago.

Remains of Northwest Airlines plane crash in Harriman State Park 40 years ago.

I found a piece, picked it up, and decided I didn’t want to be there anymore, and headed back up to the Old Turnpike.  The piece of the airplane I found first was shaped like a little cross.  Walking up to the path, I thought, it’s a shame there isn’t a memorial there, in the woods.  I left the cross at the edge of the trail, propped up on a rock.


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