Sole survivor's DC-3 flight canceled

cover_large-philbradleyinsetBradley and the crash of Piedmont Flight #349 were the subject of a last October Hook cover story. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

For the second time in 50 years, a flight problem has meant that Phil Bradley won't be landing in Charlottesville. The 83-year-old North Carolina man famously survived the 1959 crash that claimed 26 lives on final approach, but organizers of a commemorative event slated for May 5 decided not to tempt fate when a brake problem was discovered in the aging DC-3 that was to bring Bradley to the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Wednesday.

Organizer and Lynchburg-area resident Donald Stokes says that parts can't be obtained in time to make the flight but that Bradley will go forward with a talk at Liberty University scheduled for 7pm May 4,

On October 31, 2009, Bradley played host to a ceremony at Mint Springs memorializing the lives of those who died. There, he told attendees he hopes someday to build a highly visible cross on Bucks Elbow Mountain, into which Piedmont Airlines Flight 349 crashed 50 years earlier.


Perhaps something other than a cross as a memorial would be a better choice.

The last thing Buck's Elbow Mountain is a cross or any large memorial to mar it's natural beauty. The memorial in Mint Springs Park is simple, stirring, and it is enough.

good luck getting the Board of Supervisors to approve that giant cross in the side of a mountain.

Yes it is.........