Finding the Dunderberg Plane Wreckage

Dunderberg and Timp - NY Travel Blog

 › entry 766 of 1090 › view all entries
Article about crash in Bridgeport Post May 14th 1967

The following newspaper article could be read in the "Bridgeport Post" on Sunday the 14th of May 1967:

MISSING PLANE, PILOT DEAD FOUND AT BEAR MOUNTAIN
BEAR MOUNTAIN, N.Y. (AP) - The wreckage of a small plane missing two days and the body of its pilot were discovered Saturday in a gulley on nearby Dunderberg Mountain.
Two hikers first came upon the plane but saw no signs of life. They returned for police and led a party of nine back into the brush.
The battered body of the pilot Arnold D. Schaefer, 36, of New York City, head of a car-telephone leasing firm was found in the plane. Police said he apparently died in the crash.
Schaefer's one-engined green-and-white plane was reported missing Thursday after it left Hartford, Conn. at 5 p.m. and failed to arrive at its destination, Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

The remains of the 1967 plane crash

The Civil Air Patrol had been searching for the plane for two days when two hikers happened upon the wreckage Saturday morning. The plane apparently had crashed into a gulley on side of the mountain which is the first peak south of Bea fountain along the Hudson River in Palisades Interstate Park. Schaefer's body was taken to Nyack hospital. He lived at 201 E 28th St., Manhattan.

A tragic accident! And you may wonder why I have added it to my weblog. While researching for other blog entries I discovered a story of a plane wreckage that should be on Dunderberg Mountain, the 1967 plane of Arnold Schaefer! It turns out that Mr. Schaefer's body was salvaged, but his plane was left to perish at the shoulder of Dunderberg Mountain. And, after almost 45 years, the remains are still there...

The funny thing is that I, during my earlier hike on Dunderberg (see here), I walked right along the wreckage but had not noticed it.

At Timp Mountain: October 30th 2011 and February 12th 2012
And when I recently re-hiked the trail (see here) I had to abort the hike due to heavy delays because of the snow present at that time. So, today, finally I could try to spot the plane wreckage.

I hiked the trail counter clockwise, on or near the track of the never completed "Dunderberg Spiral Railway". I had found two GPS coordinates. The first one sent me into the bush, gave me great views but no plane. The second one was bingo. I arrived at the heavily decayed metal remains of the plane. It is not green-white anymore since some disrespectful idiot has sprayed graffiti paint on the wreckage. But, given the fact that it has been here for almost 45 years in harsh conditions the pile of metal still showed some resemblance with plane parts.

Mysterious light. Just before leaving the State Park
The tail section still looks like a plane and the main wing is also in pretty good shape. I was impressed.

I continued the loop via the 325-meter (1066-ft) high Dunderberg (name come from Dutch and ironically means Thunder Mountain) and the 300-meter (984 ft) high Timp Mountain. When I wanted to add an extra loop to the hike I was sent back by Mother Nature who made it snow all of a sudden. And she was right, I had hiked enough. I headed back to the car and had a nice dinner.

More pictures below.

sylviandavid says:
Very smart to mind Mother.... she can be harsh if you don't....
Posted on: Feb 20, 2012
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Article about crash in Bridgeport …
Article about crash in Bridgeport…
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
At Timp Mountain: October 30th 201…
At Timp Mountain: October 30th 20…
Mysterious light. Just before leav…
Mysterious light. Just before lea…
Ascending Dunderberg over the rail…
Ascending Dunderberg over the rai…
View from halfway to the top
View from halfway to the top
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
The remains of the 1967 plane crash
Almost at the summit of Dunderberg
Almost at the summit of Dunderberg
View from Dunderberg towards: Bear…
View from Dunderberg towards: Bea…
A marshland almost at the top of t…
A marshland almost at the top of …
Snow flakes on the ice
Snow flakes on the ice
View on Bear Mountain
View on Bear Mountain
Just past Timp Mountain, snowing!
Just past Timp Mountain, snowing!
Lightly snowed rock
Lightly snowed rock
At timp Mountain
At timp Mountain
At Timp Mountain: October 30th 201…
At Timp Mountain: October 30th 20…
Idyllic? In fact we are looking at…
Idyllic? In fact we are looking a…
GPS Height Profile
GPS Height Profile
GPS Mapping (map by gpsvisualizer.…
GPS Mapping (map by gpsvisualizer…
Dunderberg and Timp - NY
photo by: mdalamers