50 years later: Piedmont Flight 349 gets its due


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How could a plane go missing over American land? How could one man survive? The 50th anniversary of the last flight of Piedmont Airlines Flight #349, which hit a mountain west of Charlottesville and was the subject of the Hook's October 8 cover story, took place Halloween morning near Crozet.


Saturday morning’s tribute to those deceased was a fitting memorial to the 50th anniversary of the crash. I had the opportunity to meet a number of surviving family members and relate to them what I found on my retracing of the flight path as published in the official CAB findings and whether or not the flight could have taken that path.

There is more work to be done on continuing to find the real cause of the tragedy, as the CAB used speculative information to close a case that should have been investigated further so as to not place blame on the flight crew based on the lack of facts presented.

I hope to bring closure those families who are still wondering how this tragedy could have occured.

I feel so lucky to have attended this event. In donating this memorial and creating a place of peace and remembrance for the victims of this tragedy and their families, Mr. Bradley has made a lasting contribution. He has set an example we can all be proud of. His humor and humanity shown through on this mild, cloudy, beautiful fall day at the base of Bucks Elbow Mountain. May his life continue to be blessed, as he has blessed the life of so many others.