I want to let my readers know that I am going to focus on one new post every two weeks. There is a lot of effort and research that goes into each post, and I believe some of them will suffer if I have to rush to get one out each week. I’ll save book reviews for the interim weeks (when I have a book finished to review). I have a few projects on the go right now, one of which is preparing a presentation for International Small Island Cultures Conference in June, applying for another conference and working to get more publications out than last year. Plus, while tourism season is a ways away, I am starting to get booking inquiries, and need to take time to arrange tours for visitors. I hope everyone understands.
If you follow me on twitter (@planecrashgirl) then you may have noticed the odd post or picture about the small railway community of Goobies. I go out there now and then to get away and focus on research and writing. I never really knew much about the area until the past few years; like many Newfoundlanders I didn’t know there was a whole community just behind the Irving.
Goobies was a railway junction town, but has a little bit of modern aviation history that I would love to know more about.
In researching the Beechcraft crash on Bauline Line at the A.C. Hunter Library, I came across an article in the now defunct newspaper the Sunday Express that reported on a plane crash in Goobies Mill, and area near Goobies known for cottages. On 01 September 1990, a Cessna 180 crashed within feet of a trailer and cottage of Old Mill Road at Goobies. The aircraft was carrying three people who were on a short 40km hop from North Harbour Pond to Hungry Gull Pond. They were flying to Hungry Gull Pond to build a cabin.
Goobies Mill Road (or Old Mill Road) runs along Butt Pond alongside the Heritage Run portion of the TCH (Route 210). The crash happened along that area (my source suggests a little further west than this map shows, but I wanted to include Goobies and Route 1 for orientation).
According to the Clarenville detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the time of the incident, the pilot, Baxter Slade according to a source of mine, apparently misjudged the wind conditions on takeoff and a sudden wind change blew the aircraft off course.
Sylvia Blundon was a witness to the event. She and 14 other people were outside, sitting at their picnic table in the driveway near their trailer. She told the Sunday Express that her husband was the first one to notice the aircraft when it was about 50 yards from them. The aircraft hit the trees and one of the wings broke off. Blundon reports that it seemed that the pilot noticed the cottage and steered away from the building, coming closer to the trailer. The aircraft “hit the trees and came down right in the middle of the driveway, right in front of the trailer… We were sitting there right in front of the trailer” according to Blundon. Debris was spread up and down the laneway, and it took about an hour for the fire department to arrive and lay down foam to prevent any fire. The pilot was shaken, especially knowing he had almost hit the family, but no one was injured in the incident. The aircraft was destroyed. Both articles state that the Canadian Aviation Safety Board was contacted to investigate, but I have not yet found their investigation report.
I have not yet visited the site, as I found this article just before the snow started. As I do spend a bit of time in Goobies, I do look forward to looking for this site. It may not be an archaeological site, but I have been told that there is still some evidence in Goobies Mill. I hope if anyone has any further information, or images of the site, they would like to share them.Sources:
1990 “No injuries in seaplane crash”. The Evening Telegram, 04 September 1990, p.8.
1990 “No one injured in mishap. Small plane crashes within metres of Goobies cottagers”. The Sunday Express, 4 (50), 02 September 1990.