January 3, 2017


Death in the Great Smoky Mountains
by Michael Bradley
published 2016
source:  local library

reflections:  I live in the foothills of the Smokies.  Our local news covers  accidents or deaths there.  Most recently, fires destroyed thousands of acres and killed at least 14 people in the area.  

Did you see the movie Sully about Sully Sullenberger who landed his plane on the Hudson? There's a connection between Sully and a plane crash in the Smokies.  A Dr. Samuel Sullenberger crashed his bright yellow Piper on TOP of a tree in the Smokies November 2, 1955. The branches cushioned the impact -- the prop and windows were not even broken. Searchers could not find his plane; so he climbed down and walked downstream. He had an encounter with a mama bear on Nov. 5 which gave him a gash across his belly. He finally found a ranger station that afternoon. 
What's the connection between Dr. S. and Sully? The year before that crash, Dr. S. visited his cousin in Denison, TX. and met his cousin's 3-year-old son Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger! 
My favorite line in the book, "Good aviation luck seems to follow the family."

I would have liked photos and maps in the book.  In the meantime, here's a photo of the aftermath of the fires  

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