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Remembering N.H.'s Deadliest Plane Crash

Aviation Museum
The tail section of the Northeast Airlines passenger plane.

On a stormy night in October, 1968, a Northeast Airplanes passenger plane crashed into Moose Mountain in Hanover. Tomorrow, the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will host a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of what remains New Hampshire’s deadliest plane crash. NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports.

The Director of the Aviation Museum, Jeff Rapsis, has a personal connection to Northeast Airlines Flight 946. "One of the people in the crash was the pilot," he says, "who was my father John Rapsis."

John Rapsis, pilot of Northeast Airlines Flight 946.
Credit Jeff Rapsis

While 10 survived, 32 people died in the accident. "Now 50 years later the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire is doing a program to commemorate the crash," Rapsis says, "but also to put it into perspective in terms of aviation safety and how things were so different 50 years ago."

Rapsis says the program will include the recollections of a member of the rescue team as well as a “world premiere” of some newly discovered film footage. "For all this time we've seen pictures of that scene and understood it through still photos," he says, "but to discover motion picture film that was shot the day after apparently as part of the investigation was a real surprise.

The presentation begins at 11 AM on Saturday at the Aviation Museum in Londonderry.

For more information, visit the Aviation Museum's website.

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam. An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio. When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at shurley@nhpr.org.
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