Happy anniversary: Lakers survive crash

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 18, 2010 - 11:58 PM

A half-century ago, the Minneapolis Lakers narrowly averted a disaster when their pilots battled a raging blizzard and frozen instruments to make a desperate impromptu landing in an Iowa cornfield. Today, the tiny town of Carroll, Iowa, is celebrating that effort.

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WmToensingJan. 18, 10 4:21 AM

For some reason, I didn't remember this almost crash although I was living in Mpls (actually a trailer park in Columbia Hights)at the time. I had just moved from Willmar to start work as a social worker for the Hennepin County Welfare Dept. the previous week, so I probably wasn't following the news closely due to the move & adjustment to a new job. In Dec. 1956, I flew in a Navy R3D, the Navy designation for the Douglas DC-3, from Norfolk, VA. to Milwaukee for Xmas leave, then by train to Mpls. I doubt a more modern jet could have survived a forced landing like that DC-3 did. They were good airplanes & several are still flying today.

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qualtroughJan. 18, 10 5:53 AM

Fascinating story that I have never heard before. Just a small quibble or two. One quibble, in 1960 DC-3's were still used in commercial service around the world, and in fact there are still several hundred still flying. I live overseas and there is a DC-3 or the military version thereof that flies over my house every day. Of course the remaining airworthy planes have been updated considerably. I am not saying this particular example wasn't a wreck, just that DC3's were not a rare sight in 1960.

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montanarayJan. 18, 10 6:00 AM

Thanks for the great story. I didn't remember it.

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gcm58Jan. 18, 10 6:37 AM

If that happened today, the police would show up and give 'em a ticket. JK

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orr333Jan. 18, 10 6:38 AM

It is always so neat to hear a story you have not heard before! What an amazing turn of events. I can't believe in all the Sid stories I have not heard mention of this! Best line = "Carol, Carol who?!" Looks like Tiger was not the first athlete to find a lass on the road!

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FooterJan. 18, 10 7:14 AM

I wasn't alive when this occurred but what a tale! Very well written too. I didn't look to see who wrote it until after I finished reading it but what a pleasant surprise to see it was Jerry! Our very own TWolves beat writer! I'll buy your first novel!

ShpubbaJan. 18, 10 8:27 AM

In Sid Hartman's version, he jumps into the pilot seat and brings the plane down safe himself.

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hankmeadowsJan. 18, 10 8:31 AM

FANTASTIC story!!! Thank you very much!

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tcthebearJan. 18, 10 8:54 AM

Thank you for making my day with that story! Fascinating!

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plymouthJan. 18, 10 9:04 AM

He was 24 when it happened (1960), he would have been 33 when he wrote in SI (1969) yet at the end of the article they said he died at age 29.

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