Miracle on Buffalo Pass Remembered Nearly 40 Years After Plane Crash

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<p>Harrison Jones</p>
Photo: Miracle on Buffalo Pass PLANE CRASH SITE
"Rescue workers preparing to evacuate injured survivors through the passenger entrance door. The evacuation began in the pre-dawn hours when Dave Lindow and the initial rescue team located the crash site. As seen in this photo, the rescue operation continued long after sunrise when additional snow cats arrived to continue the evacuation."

But it seems like the right word to use about the crash of Rocky Mountain Airways flight 217.

In December, 1978, a passenger plane with 22 people on board left Steamboat Springs for Denver. It went down in a blinding blizzard on Buffalo Pass roughly an hour after take-off.

Two people died.

Photo: Miracle on Buffalo Plane
A Rocky Mountain Airways Twin Otter

The crash, and the monumental rescue that followed, are the subject of a new book, "Miracle on Buffalo Pass: Rocky Mountain Airways Flight 217."

Photo: Miracle on Buffalo Pass Rescue Effort 2
"When the rescue teams arrived, they found the airplane lying on its right side and almost buried in the snow. The heavily damaged nose area and cockpit are to the left. The passenger entrance door and baggage compartment door are to the right with the transmission tower in the background. Both wings are broken off and covered in snow."

Author Harrison Jones and flight 217 first officer, Gary Richard Coleman spoke with Colorado Matters Host Ryan Warner.