Because he was delirious for most of that time, Master Seaman Montgomery didn’t play a major role in the others’ survival. During the 32-hour ordeal, Couch makes multiple trips to check on Sue and Dave, while Captain Wilma De Groot, keeps the others calm, before succumbing in the cold weather. Operation Boxtop III/91 was in full swing, with three Hercules flying around the clock to re-supply Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert with fuel. Aside from that episode, I have taken the approach that I wanted to get on with my life.”. While heading to Alert in the far north on October 30, 1991, pilot Captain John Couch misjudges his altitude and crashes 10 miles from the base. Ordeal in the Arctic was filmed at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton over a four-week period in November and December 1992. Patricia Brennan from The Washington Post advised: "If you sit down to watch “Ordeal in the Arctic,” bring along a cup of tea. CFS Alert, the most northern permanently inhabited settlement in the world, is re-supplied from 8 Wing/CFB Trenton by an operation known as Boxtop. BELLEVILLE – The survivors of Boxtop Flight 22 are remembering the 25th anniversary of the crash that claimed the lives of five of its other passengers. During the 32-hour ordeal, Couch makes multiple trips to check on Sue and Dave, while Captain Wilma De Groot, keeps the others calm, before succumbing in the cold weather. To see more images, click on the photograph under "Image Gallery". It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you today for this ceremony commemorating Boxtop 22. Despite the real-life heroics, reviews were mainly tepid. The aircraft hit a rocky cliff and crashed 16 kilometres south of CFS Alert.
The crashed Boxtop 22 Hercules aircraft rests on the Arctic tundra to this day.
“The best compliment I’ve received from people is that they forget I’m disabled,” he says. “I learned very early on in my life,” he says, “that disability is as much a mental state as it is a physical one.”, Since the accident, he has only ever considered himself disabled for one 24-hour period, about a month after the rescue. ", "Review: Death and Deliverance, by Robert Mason Lee. Jill St. Marseille Photo.
Master Corporal Roland Pitre, the loadmaster, is the first to die while three others also do not survive the impact: Warrant Officer, Robert Grimsley, Master Warrant Officer, Tom Jardine, and Captain Judy Trépanier.
Mr. Montgomery returned to CFS Alert in June 1993 for the dedication of the cairn in memory of those who died in the crash. He is now involved with several charities in the Ottawa region.
“This allows me to pinch things,” he says with a smile, “and I can also put my foot in my mouth faster than anyone else I know.”. Boxtop 22 was the 22nd flight of the second airlift of 1991. Photo by Selena Steele-Clough, QNet News She vividly recalls her terror right after the impact as the survivors waited and hoped for rescue. Ordeal in the Arctic is a television film written by Paul F. Edwards and directed by Mark Sobel. Three toes were grafted to his left hand to give him some use of the hand. Master Corporal Mike Kobayashi, an SAR Tech from 440 Squadron, who participated in the actual rescue, portrayed himself in the film. CFS Alert, the most northern permanently inhabited settlement in the world, is re-supplied from 8 Wing/CFB Trenton by an operation known as Boxtop. At about 4:25 p.m., the pilot announced that they were on final approach to the airfield. RCAF No.435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, "Accident description: Lockheed CC-130E Hercules, 30 October 1991.  At night, while on final approach to the airstrip, the pilot apparently was flying by sight rather than relying on instruments. Subsequent rescue efforts by personnel from CFS Alert, USAF personnel from Thule AB and CF personnel from 440 Squadron, CFB Edmonton, Alberta, and Trenton, Ontario, were hampered by a blizzard and local terrain. That day, on board Boxtop Flight 22, many of the passengers were sleeping or chatting with one another. Although a northerly location in Canada, the terrain is very different from the tundra of Alert, Nunavut.
Of the survivors, Susan Hillier, and Master Corporal, David Meace, because of possible spinal injuries, cannot be moved to the tail end of the aircraft with the others. His book thoroughly documented the 1991 crash and subsequent rescue. Casualties from the crash of the Boxtop 22 Hercules arrive aboard a Challenger jet following their rescue and evacuation in November, 1991. “The loadmaster, Roland Pitre, told us to put our seatbelts on, and the ride got very bumpy,” Mr. Montgomery recalls. That day, on board Boxtop Flight 22, many of the passengers were sleeping or chatting with one another. Monty Montgomery, a survivor of Boxtop Flight 22, pays silent tribute to those who died.
It was a CC-130 crewed by Aircraft Commander Capt John Couch, First Officer Lt Joe Bales, Lt Mike Moore, a navigator; Sgt Paul West, a flight engineer; and MCpl Roland Pitre, the loadmaster for the flight.
At the same time, the Edmonton Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) was advised by Transport Canada’s Edmonton Area Control Centre that the aircraft was overdue. “I was splashed with diesel fuel and hit in the head.”. “That is a wonderful compliment, both to them and to me.”. ", "TV Reviews: 'Ordeal in the Arctic' offers true-life story of survival.  The aircraft struck a rocky slope and crashed on Ellesmere Island, approximately 16 km (9.9 miles) short of the runway, resulting in the death of four of the 18 passengers and crew. In 1991, a CC-130 Hercules aircraft carrying 18 people ", "BOXTOP 22 survivor remembers fatal crash. Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and, most importantly, the families of those who perished in the crash of Boxtop 22, the survivors of the crash, and those who were involved in the rescue effort. “The next day, I woke up and apologized to everyone for my behaviour. Members of CFB Trenton held a special ceremony at the National Air Force Museum of Canada on Sunday afternoon to commemorate the event.
As CC-130 Hercules 130322 from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, loaded with 3,400 litres of diesel fuel, began its descent, the pilot flying lost sight of the runway. ", "Canadian Forces Station Alert: CC130 130322 Crash. The film stars Richard Chamberlain, Catherine Mary Stewart, Melanie Mayron, Scott Hylands and Page Fletcher. “I am not using my prostheses on a regular basis,” he says.
He attributes his positive outlook on life to his upbringing.
Although they are able to see the base prior to the crash, blizzard-like conditions prevent anyone from going for help. ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ordeal_in_the_Arctic&oldid=957519520, Accidents and incidents involving the Lockheed Hercules, Pages using infobox television with editor parameter, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Robert Mason Lee (nonfiction book "Death and Deliverance"), Christopher Bolton as Lieutenant Michael "Mike" Moore, Richard McMillan as Bob Thompson (credited as Richard MacMillan), Blair Haynes as Master Corporal Roland "Rollie" Pitre, Stephen Sparks as Master Corporal Tony Cobden, Brian Jensen as Master Corporal David "Dave" Meace, Larry Yachimec as Warrant Officer Robert Grimsley, Cecily A. Adams as Captain Judy Trépanier, David Cameron as Master Corporal Mario Ellefsen, This page was last edited on 19 May 2020, at 07:37. To replicate the sunless conditions near the North Pole, filming was done mainly at night. October 30, 1991 started as just another day in the Arctic.  Reviewer Chris Willman from the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Considerable heroism is involved in this true-life survival story, to be sure – but, truth be told, it's mostly a bunch of people sitting around in the dark shivering.". [N 1]. He had frostbite on both hands and feet, and lost all the toes on his right foot, all the fingers on both hands, and the tips of two toes on his left foot. Twenty-four hours later, Master Seaman Montgomery woke up in the wreckage to find that he had an extensive compound fracture to his skull and fingers that were solid blocks of ice. As the weather calms, search and rescue (SAR) technicians are able to parachute down to the site, while those searching by ground arrive soon after. “I was depressed and miserable; I treated everyone terribly,” Mr. Montgomery says. The accident that Ordeal in the Arctic depicted, occurred on October 30, 1991, when Canadian Forces Lockheed CC-130E Hercules (130322), from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron (a part of Operation Boxtop), was flying from Edmonton, Alberta via Thule Air Base, Greenland on a bi-annual resupply mission to Canadian Forces Station Alert. The survivors were stranded for 47 hours, eventually finding some shelter in the tail section of the downed aircraft. Another SAR Tech involved in the rescue, Master Corporal Tim Eagle from 440 Squadron, acted as the SAR technical advisor. The subsequent crash investigation recommended all CC-130s be retrofitted with ground proximity detectors and beefed-up Arctic survival equipment. The pilot died of exposure while awaiting rescue. Within minutes, Air Transport Group headquarters was notified that Boxtop 22 had likely crashed and the status of survivors was not known.
It’s a movie that’s a little hard to warm up to." Of the survivors, Susan Hillier, and Master Corporal, David Meace, because of possible spinal injuries, cannot be moved to the tail end of the aircraft with the others. , Ordeal in the Arctic is an adaptation of Robert Mason Lee's non-fiction book Death and Deliverance: The Haunting True Story of the Hercules Crash at the North Pole. Once search and rescue crews are sent to look for the aircraft, survivors are able to communicate with Boxtop 21, searching by air using a two-way radio.
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