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Thu, Sep 30, 2004

Glacier Park Crash Survivor: 'I Just Want To Get On With My Life'

"I'm ready to close the book and move on and get my life started again."

That's what Jodee Hogg told ABC in an exclusive interview after she and a fellow Forestry Service worker walked away from an air accident that authorities called "unsurvivable."

It was the first time the 23-year old woman talked about the ordeal after the Cessna 206 in which she was a passenger flew into a mountain and burned, killing three other people. Two other people made it out of the burning aircraft alive. One of them, 29-year old Matthew Ramige, was able to walk along with Hogg down the mountain to safety.

"I just remember the impact," she told ABC's Good Morning America. "It was a loud noise, the plane caught on fire, and I was just trying to get my seatbelt undone and get out the door. Matt didn't have a shirt because his had been burned off."

Another passenger Ken Good, was also able to escape the burning aircraft. After they were a safe distance away, they realized that it was fast becoming dark, that it was cold and that they had very little to keep them warm.

"So we did, like, a Matt sandwich between Ken and I. And we just held on to each other all night and talked and just hoped... hoped they [authorities] would come get us."

But "they" thought everyone had died in the accident, an assumption for which the Flathead County (MT) Sheriff has apologized.

Jodee had high praise for the pilot of the doomed Cessna. Even after the aircraft had impacted the ground and started to burn, she said he had the presence of mind to release Good's seatbelt, allowing him to fall free of the smoldering wreckage. Good, however, died before he, Hogg and Ramige could be rescued.

FAA Preliminary Accident Report

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 206SM        Make/Model: C206      Description: 206, P206, T206, TP206, U206, TU206,  (T
  Date: 09/20/2004     Time: 2258

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: KALISPELL                   State: MT   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  ADVISED BY MONTANA AERONAUTICS THAT USFS NOTIFIED THEM OF A POSSIBLE DOWNED
  ACFT THAT DID NOT SHOW UP AT ITS DESTINATION. ACFT DEPARTED GLACIER PARK
  INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (FCA) AT 2108 UTC. THE CRASHED ACFT WRECKAGE WAS
  LOCATED AND THE ACFT IS REPORTED DESTROYED. THE PILOT AND TWO OF THE FOUR
  PASSENGERS ARE REPORTED FATAL. THE THIRD PASSENGER IS IN SERIOUS CONDITION
  AND THE FOURTH IS HOSPITALIZED WITH UNKN INJURIES. KALISPELL, MT

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   3
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:   Y
                 # Pass:    4     Fat:   2     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:           Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: METAR KFCA 202055Z 13010KT FEW012 SCT031 BKN045 09/06 A3001 RMK A02
         TSB03E18                                                                   
OTHER DATA
  Activity: Business      Phase: Unknown      Operation: Public

  Departed: KALISPELL, MT (FCA)         Dep Date: 09/20/2004   Dep. Time: 2108
  Destination: SCHAFER USFS ARPT8U2     Flt Plan: NONE         Wx Briefing: N
  Last Radio Cont: FREQUENCY CHANGE APPROVED
  Last Clearance: CLRD FOR TAKE-OFF

  FAA FSDO: HELENA, MT  (NM05)                    Entry date: 09/22/2004 #

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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