Since the mid-1930's, more than forty airplanes have come to grief on the mountains surrounding Mena, Arkansas.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the State of Arkansas have worked to increase the awareness of the potental dangers of flying in this area.  The goal of this section is to highlight the accidents, the majority of which are weather related, in the hopes of preventing similar crashes.

The Ouachita Mountain range spans from mid-central Arkansas westward into Oklahoma, with peaks seeming to rise out of nowhere.  The peaks run east-west, rather than north-south as with other ranges in North America.  The confusion from this orientation, coupled with weather that tends to obscure the peaks, lends to the ranges macabre reputation for luring aircraft to their doom. 

After the Texas International crash in 1973, the Mena airport was renamed the Intermountain Regional Airport, and the VOR (which was always located on Rich Mountain, but named for a nearby town in Oklahoma) was renamed from Page to Rich Mountain.  The emphasis to people flying into the area is "Mountain".

This section is as much about aviation safety as it is about history, and will be updated as often as possible, as more records are found and chases completed.  Contributions to this page are welcome.


 
 
 
Date Type Aircraft Tail Number Fatal/
Onboard
Remarks
5 March 1936 Beechcraft B17L Staggerwing NC15486 2/2 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in fog and burned 
10 December 1943 Douglas RA-24A 42-6706 2/2 Crashed onto Fourche Mountain in fog
28 February 1945 Beech AT-17C 43-49982 3/5 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
31 October 1945 Douglas R4D-7 99834 14/14 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
10 April 1949 "Single Engine" unknown 0/4 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
14 November 1950 Beech SNB unknown 6/6 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
5 February 1951 North American T-6D 42-84311 1/1 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
7 October 1961 "Light Plane" unknown 2/2 Crashed onto Black Fork Mountain
29 April 1967 Cessna T-41 67-15141 2/2 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
26 January 1968 Mooney M20 N5225B 4/4 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
11 November 1969 Cessna 172 N7180T 1/1 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
28 December 1972 Piper PA-28 Cherokee N4899T 3*/4 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
30 April 1973 Cessna 172 N20318 3/3 Crashed onto Brush Heap Mountain in bad weather
27 September 1973 Convair 600 (240D) N94230 11/11 Texas International Flight 655 - CFIT in IMC onto Black Fork Mountain 
13 March 1975 Bellanca 17-30 Viking 300 N4930V 4/4 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in bad weather
20 February 1976 Piper PA-24 Commanche N6396P 1/1 Crashed onto Rattlesnake Mountain
2 December 1983 Cessna 310K N310JD 1/1 Crashed onto Rich Mountain
15 February 1984 Cessna 414A N6815Z 2/2 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in IMC
20 February 1985 Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II N8658E 1/1 Crashed onto Fourche Mountain during IFR approach
22 April 1985 Cessna 310G N8942Z 2/2 Crashed onto Rich Mountain after structural failure
15 November 1987 Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee N9131J 1/1 Crashed onto Fourche Mountain in IMC
15 March 1993 Piper PA-23-160 Apache N4341P 0/3 Crashed into terrain 12 mi NW of Mena Intermountain Airport due to airframe icing at night
9 December 2002 Beechcraft 1900C N120YV 3/3 Crashed onto Fourche Mountain in bad weather
15 December 2003
Beechcraft H35 Bonanza
N7929D
1/1
Crashed into north face of Black Fork Mountain during VFR Approach to Mena
21 March 2006 Beech C23 Sundowner N2160W 1/2 Crashed onto Rich Mountain in fog
11 November 2008 Cessna 177RG Cardinal N2526V 1/1 Crashed onto Rich Mountain

 
 
 
 
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