Arrow Air — 25 years later

Arrow Air — 25 years later

A quarter century has passed since Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed 73 seconds after it lifted off a Gander runway on Dec. 12, 1985.

Two hundred and fifty-six people died — 248 U.S. soldiers and eight crewmembers.

It remains the deadliest aviation disaster in Canadian history and one of the worst ever faced by the U.S. military.

The Telegram's Steve Bartlett teamed up with his colleagues at The Beacon in Gander for this special report on the Arrow Air crash - 25 years later.

In it, readers will find out what happened on that chilling December morning, and the reaction here and in the United States.

There are stories about the investigations into the crash, articles outlining why some people have never accepted the findings, and a recap of some of the conspiracy theories.

There is also a profile of an inspiring Gander widow and report on a new local book about the disaster.

On the web, we're asking people to tell us their whereabouts when they learned of the crash, and to share any other memories from that time.

The goal is to remember a significant and sombre moment in the province's history.

Bernie Caiger (right), senior research officer with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, and Mike Renton, a technician with the NRC, look over the data recorders in Ottawa from an Arrow Air DC-8 that crashed in Gander Dec. 12, 1985. — File photo by Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

That dark day in Gander

December 04, 2010 - 8 h 28

After a peacekeeping stint in the Sinai Desert, Gander was a stop closer to home for a couple of hundred U.S. troops.

Their chartered DC-8 touched down in the central Newfoundland town around...

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Local 6
That dark day in Gander

In Gander, the scars remain

December 04, 2010 - 12 h 28

Transcontinental Media—Gander

 

Atop a hill east of Gander, a solider stands guard, holding the hands of two young children, a boy and a girl.

All three look out over...

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Local
In Gander, the scars remain

We remember them still

December 04, 2010 - 12 h 40

Transcontinental Media—Gander

 

“The crash and the days that followed is certainly a time I will never forget,” says Doug Sheppard, “as I know those who were involved and...

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Local 1
We remember them still

‘He came in the kitchen to tell me that Daddy was dead’

December 04, 2010 - 12 h 43

After Amy Nichols’ husband, Sgt. Richard Nichols, called from Gander to say he’d be home earlier than expected, she woke her children, ages one and three, and headed to the base gym at Fort Campbell,...

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Local
‘He came in the kitchen to tell me that Daddy was dead’

Telling the terrible story

December 04, 2010 - 12 h 48

Transcontinental Media—Gander

 

The role of journalists is to get the story, and they never know what sort of story they’ll be chasing from one day to the next.

Still,...

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Local 1
Telling the terrible story

‘Flights of angels take them to their rest’

December 04, 2010 - 12 h 55

You can still read former U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s White House diary about the things he did in office.

The entry for Dec. 12, 1985, reads: “During the day, I phoned Gen. Patrick in...

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Local
‘Flights of angels take them to their rest’

A tangled web

December 06, 2010 - 8 h 33

SPECIAL REPORT

Arrow Air — 25 years later

The conclusion that Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed because of ice on the wings caused a major rift within...

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Local 7
A tangled web

An act of sabotage?

December 04, 2010 - 11 h 39

Rick Gibbons took an interesting call shortly after Arrow Air Flight 1285 went down a few hundred feet from the Trans-Canada Highway in Gander.

He was working in London, England for Canadian Press/Broadcast...

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Local
An act of sabotage?

Death changed everything

December 04, 2010 - 11 h 46

Amy Gallo remembers visiting a woman who had just lost her husband in the first Persian Gulf war.

“I told her I was a widow too. And she just freaked out and she held onto me so tight I thought...

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Local
Death changed everything

New book recalls the lives of those lost

December 04, 2010 - 11 h 57

Author Gary Collins recently spoke with some families of the men and women who lost their lives in the Arrow Air crash.

It’s his opinion that most of them still don’t have closure.

“A...

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Article
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Local 1
New book recalls the lives of those lost