Just the facts

Fort Walton Beach, FL

#61 Sep 21, 2008
Honey wrote:
Boise, Idaho
You gotta be related to someone that died in this crash. If so, my heart goes out to you. If not you have a morbid fascination with it for some other reason.
No more of a morbid fascination than forensic pathologists, forensic engineers, forensic anthropologists, etc. Different people have different interests. My interests include being a pilot. I'm fascinated by chains of events that lead to accidents and how they can be prevented. If we don't learn from our mistakes we will be bound to repeat them. Studying accidents is one way to keep me from making the same mistakes. The best way to honor the dead is to learn from their mistakes.
Honey

Mount Pleasant, TX

#62 Sep 21, 2008
Just the facts wrote:
<quoted text>
No more of a morbid fascination than forensic pathologists, forensic engineers, forensic anthropologists, etc. Different people have different interests. My interests include being a pilot. I'm fascinated by chains of events that lead to accidents and how they can be prevented. If we don't learn from our mistakes we will be bound to repeat them. Studying accidents is one way to keep me from making the same mistakes. The best way to honor the dead is to learn from their mistakes.
I stand corrected. My hubby is in air with buddy as we speak. Had to wait for fog to clear. Just heard them fly over.
RayFloyd

Bossier City, LA

#63 Sep 21, 2008
Justice wrote:
can someone tell me about this?
i have never heard of this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Croce
Justice

Atlanta, GA

#64 Sep 21, 2008
RayFloyd wrote:
thank you for that, that is quite shocking!!
Far Out Dude

United States

#65 Sep 24, 2008
milton wrote:
I understand if being from Nachitochus your tired of the subject,if so I apoligize.
But if any of you attended or know someone who attended Croce's last concert or have any memories of his and his Groups brief stay there I would love to hear about it.
There is really very little info available considering his current stature as a songwriter and singer.
Any input would be appreciated.thanks.
If you can remember it, you didn't have a good time! I remember a lot of conversation about the large oak at the end of the runway.
Just the facts

Natchitoches, LA

#66 Sep 24, 2008
For clarification, the tree was not "at the end of" the runway.
MarkTwain

Bossier City, LA

#67 Sep 24, 2008
Far Out Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
If you can remember it, you didn't have a good time! I remember a lot of conversation about the large oak at the end of the runway.
It was a pecan, so take another toke.
Kidder

United States

#68 Sep 24, 2008
I was ten at the time and I remember, my grandfather owned a wrecking yard and hauled the larger pieces of plane back to his wrecking yard. I remember rummaging through it and finding some gory reminders of what happened, pieces of a tie-died shirt, a bloody seat. These are the things I remember....
Mlac

United States

#69 Sep 25, 2008
I went through the plane also at that wrecking yard, had a small piece of the plane but don't know whqat happended to it.
SQUID

AOL

#70 Sep 25, 2008
NATCHITOCHES, La.,(UPI)– Investigators Friday said they found marijuana in the wreckage of the plane crash that killed singer JIM CROCE and five other persons, but a sheriff admitted the drug probably was not involved in the accident.
“A lid (ounce) is all. There was some on two different ones,” said Sheriff SAM JAMES.“I don't think that had anything to do with the plane crash. He (the pilot) just didn't get enough altitude.”
The sheriff said the pilot's body was not carrying any drugs, but JAMES ordered an autopsy.
The music industry expressed shock and sorrow at CROCE'S loss just as it had over the premature deaths of Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jim Morrison.
“For the music and the people who had seen JIMMY he was only beginning to scratch the surface of what I think would have been a truly big career,” said Tommy West, a CROCE producer in New York.
“I wouldn't call him a super star because that has overtones of rock things and it went more beyond that. I think JIMMY could have been a Will Rogers or a white Bill Cosby.”
“He didn't like the music business, he liked music.”
CROCE, 30, and his group, had performed a concert Thursday night at Northwestern Louisiana State College, and were leaving for a Friday appearance at Austin College in Sherman, Tex.
CROCE'S biggest hits had been “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,”“Operator” and “Don't Mess Around With Jim” which earned him a gold album.
“They were leaving the airport and got possibly 250 yards south of the runway, 30 feet in the air, and hit this tree,” Sheriff James said.“For some reason they didn't gain altitude fast enough.”
Investigators said the tree, a large pecan, was the only tree for hundreds of yards.
“It flipped, landed upright and was turned completely around,” said James of the twin-engined craft.
The pilot, ROBERT N. ELLIOTT, 57, of Dallas, was thrown from the wreckage. The other victims were found in the plane.
Also killed were GEORGE STEVENS, 36, Inglewood, Calif., a comedian; KENNETH D. CORTOSE, 28, Chicago, CROCE'S manager and booking agent; MAURICE T. MUEHLEISEN, 24, Trenton, N. J., a musician; and DENNIS RAST, 30, Chicago.

The Morning Herald Hagerstown Maryland 1973-09-22
__________
Ancient In Depends

Rayville, LA

#71 Sep 26, 2008
Liberals ruined my Jim Croce. R.I.P Jim
LPP

Saint Louis, MO

#72 Sep 28, 2008
No one has commented on the mayor telling the family that he had that tree cut down........but I had heard the same story.
Milton

Picabo, ID

#73 Oct 4, 2008
Im sorry if my interest in this part of Jim's story dealing with the accident came off as morbid(I can see how it could)
Its just that there is so little info about the accident it's always seemed kind of out of focus.
I guess I hoped that your guys input would bring it into focus and it certainly has far beyond what I could have expected youve all been so generous with your knowledge and recollections from JustTheFacts technical expertise to everyone else' everyday memories like the concert,what you were doing back then the Junk yard ect.
Facinating stuff to me at least.
Ive always been sort of a musical history buff and being able to tap into such an untouched wellspring of that history is awesome.
Thanks again all of you.
Milton

Picabo, ID

#74 Oct 4, 2008
Ancient In Depends wrote:
Liberals ruined my Jim Croce. R.I.P Jim
Lol! Rest assured I will be puzzling over the meaning of this statement for the rest of the day.
Sensible One

Dobbs Ferry, NY

#75 Oct 25, 2008
My goodness, I came upon these entrees quite by accident and what a joy. Although a sad memory for this Long Islander (Massapequa), Jim's music gave this once 13 year old quite a jolt. I essentially learned the art of guitar finger-picking AND singing by copying Jim. The local Newsday did have a lengthy obit two days after the crash. But TV and radio virtually ignored it, unlike today's hyped up formats. Even WABC Music Radio 77 made no mention of it even as Jim's songs were predominant on their charts. Strange. To those of you (the Styrofoam Girls included)who were at the final show, God bless your memories. The fact that the event took on a sudden tragic fate is almost unspeakable. That autographed cup could have been the final ones signed by Jim and Maury & co. A shame. If anybody has anything that an E-Bay collector might desire, I would consider just giving them to Ingrid out there in San Diego. Exploitation was the last thing Jim would have any part of.
Milton

Picabo, ID

#76 Oct 26, 2008
Sensible One wrote:
My goodness, I came upon these entrees quite by accident and what a joy. Although a sad memory for this Long Islander (Massapequa), Jim's music gave this once 13 year old quite a jolt. I essentially learned the art of guitar finger-picking AND singing by copying Jim. The local Newsday did have a lengthy obit two days after the crash. But TV and radio virtually ignored it, unlike today's hyped up formats. Even WABC Music Radio 77 made no mention of it even as Jim's songs were predominant on their charts. Strange. To those of you (the Styrofoam Girls included)who were at the final show, God bless your memories. The fact that the event took on a sudden tragic fate is almost unspeakable. That autographed cup could have been the final ones signed by Jim and Maury & co. A shame. If anybody has anything that an E-Bay collector might desire, I would consider just giving them to Ingrid out there in San Diego. Exploitation was the last thing Jim would have any part of.
Yeah thats why I started this thread Inspite Jim's posthumous success anyone who wondered 'What happened?' was going to be hard pressed to find any answers other then the one or two lines reserved for the accident in most accounts of Jim's life.
The residents of of Natchitoches who were kind enough to respond to my thread provided a wealth of info far beyond what I could have anticipated.
Pretty cool stuff isnt it?
dwm

Saint Paul, MN

#77 Dec 21, 2008
I know this thread is a few months old. Just wanted to comment about the Beech E18 Croce and the gang were flying in. This particular series Beechcraft was plagued with wing spar problems. They were susceptible to cracking, causing serious malfunctions. The FAA even got involved with this issue with the 18's in 1975. This forced many of the Beech 18's out of service for good. A weak spar could cause the plane to veer sharply and crash. Since the evidence was crudely hauled to the scrap yard, we'll never know the truth!

y-o-y

“first things first”

Since: Jun 08

natchitoches

#78 Dec 21, 2008
i talked to a former police officer (was working that night in 73)...he told me he believes in his heart that the plane rushed to take off because of problems with the natchitoches police...strange, huh???
Just the facts

Natchitoches, LA

#79 Dec 22, 2008
dwm wrote:
I know this thread is a few months old. Just wanted to comment about the Beech E18 Croce and the gang were flying in. This particular series Beechcraft was plagued with wing spar problems. They were susceptible to cracking, causing serious malfunctions. The FAA even got involved with this issue with the 18's in 1975. This forced many of the Beech 18's out of service for good. A weak spar could cause the plane to veer sharply and crash. Since the evidence was crudely hauled to the scrap yard, we'll never know the truth!
Sorry dwm, we do know the truth. The pilot failed to gain sufficient altitude on takeoff and flew into a tree. The Beech E18 as well as most twin reciprocating engined aircraft of that type and of the era were notoriously unforgiving of an inattentive or careless pilot and coupled with slow acceleration and slow time to climb was a disaster waiting to happen. The crash site and wreckage were investigated by the NTSB before the plane was moved, not after as you suggest. I know this explanation is not as glamorous or sinister as "we'll never know the truth" but that's the way it was.
dwm

Saint Paul, MN

#80 Dec 22, 2008
I'm just stating a fact about all Beech 18 series aircraft. The spar joints were all prone to big problems. They needed major modifications for better reinforcement. The mods were so pricey that most of them were forced out of service by the mid 70s. I'm sure it probably was pilot error. But we've all heard different versions/stories about the pilot jogging with a bad heart, drained gas,pressure from the law, drugs, etc. I doubt the NTSB pieced that airplane back together for a thorough check. It'd be in a hanger somewhere, not piled by the side of the road for people to pick through. It's not like a commercial airline accident. I didn't suggest at all that the wreckage was investigated before or after an investigation took place. I'm just going by the other threads here about how crudely the wreckage was piled up and left for anyone to pick through. Grabbing bloody shirts and personal effects! Damm that's sick. I just don't think there's anything sinister about pointing out the serious problems with Beechcraft D18's and E18's during that time.

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