The Plane Went Down With His Wife, His Kid... and a Secret

Tony Mink's friends, family, and business associates spent Christmas of 1983 searching through the mountains of New Mexico for his plane, using planes, helicopters, snowmobiles, and skis. Mink, a professional pilot, had flown his family in a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza from Florida en route to Utah on December 23, but only made it as far as Canjilon Mountain, where the plane crashed and was soon buried under 11 feet of snow. They survived the crash, but would they survive the freezing temperatures until someone could find them? Mink's skydiving buddy Keven Peterson and his business partner Adam Glover were waiting for Mink's arrival at a Christmas party in Salt Lake.

By 3 a.m. they still hadn’t heard from him. “If he crashed my plane and lived through it,” said Adam—the Bonanza’s registered owner—“I’ll kill the son of a bitch myself.” Solid priorities, Keven thought. But they were all worried. Most of the lightweights had gone home already, but Tony’s core group of friends—Keven, Adam Glover, and a few of the other skydivers—had stuck around trying to figure out what could have happened. Keven hoped Tony had just gotten a hotel, but feared the worst. At 4 a.m., he called the FAA. “My friend’s plane is overdue,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adam was growing more agitated by the minute. He knew something Keven didn’t: There was a quarter million dollars aboard that Bonanza.

Tony and Adam weren’t salvagers. They were smugglers.  

Mink had not filed a flight plan because of the cash he was carrying. And the plane was buried in the snow. Despite poor weather conditions, several crews spent the next few days trying to find the plane. Some were on the scene to find and rescue the family, while others wanted the money they knew was on the plane. Read the full story of Tony Mink and the plane crash at The Daily Beast.  -via Digg

(Image credit: Cgettings)

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