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Glen Hudson opened Talkeetna's first air taxi service, Hudson Air Service, in 1946, to serve hunters, fishermen, and miners primarily. After Glen died in the crash of his Cessna 170 at Disappointment Creek on August 15, 1951, his brother, Cliff Hudson, took over the business.

    ANCHORAGE, Aug. 20 - (AP - Tenth Rescue headquarters said today its trail crew from the scene where Glen Hudson's plane crashed today reported finding only three bodies in the wreckage. Four were believed aboard. As the search continued for the fourth, an effort was being made to determine whether there actually were four aboard on the takeoff last Wednesday. The plane was reported to have crashed at the 1,000 foot level on a 1,900-foot barrier.


    A narrow canyon in the rugged Talkeetna mountains was a death trap for Alaska Bush Pilot Glen Judson and his three passengers.

    Searchers reported today the finding of Hudson's smashed plane against the canyon wall about 25 miles from Talkeetna, on the Alaska railroad line. The bush pilot vanished Wednesday in a four place plane. He was carrying Elmer (Red) Wolford and his two teenage sons, Larry Lee and Steven, to mining property in the Lost Lake area. Wolford is a well-known Alaska mine owner.

    After an intensive search by a large number of military and private planes, the wreckage was sighted last night by Earl Smith, manager of the Alaska Railroad hotel at Curry.

    Tenth rescue squadron officials said a trail crew reached the scene and found all four aboard dead. Darkness prevented removal of the bodies, but another attempt to bring them out will be made today.

    Hudson was a veteran Alaska bush pilot, who has flown out of Talkeetna for many years, but he made a fatal mistake on the trip.

Wrong Turn

    Frank Barr, local civil air patrol commander, flew over the wreckage last night, and positively identified the plane by numbers on its wings. He reported today that Hudson had apparently been following the Susitna river in bad weather, and made a wrong turn. When the river made a broad sweep, Hudson left it, and followed a small creek up into a canyon that was a a death trap. The bottom of the canyon was only about 20 feet wide, and its sheer walls rose up abruptly on each side. The plane could neither turn, nor climb as rapidly as the canyon sloped upward.

    According to Barr, the pilot apparently realized he was in a blind end gully, and attempted to make a turn and go back out. During this turn, he crashed directly into the canyon walls, completely demolishing his float-equipped Cessna 170 plane.

    A tenth rescue helicopter is standing by a distance from the wreckage, and will return the bodies to Anchorage as soon as they are brought out of the canyon. The wreckage is reported to be located only about 100 feet above the canyon bottom.




Hudson Air Service: A big part of Talkeetna history

Northern Aviation History