In mid-December, 1981, a small air taxi crashed at 10,300’ on the slopes of Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska. All four people aboard survived the crash and the wreckage was quickly located. The weather was good the next morning but no rescuers landed nearby and no emergency supplies were airdropped. After four days and nights, a volunteer civilian climbing team reached the wreckage and U.S. Army Chinooks airlifted survivors off the mountain.
Two years later, a lawyer in sole practice in Alaska filed a civil suit arising from the Mt. McKinley rescue against the Army, Air Force, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Park Service. This true story of the crash, the ordeal on the mountain, and volunteer and government rescue efforts unfolds through eyewitness testimony at trial. The author uses court trial documents to tell the story.