Flight 22

By: Dan Gibbs

A lot of people in Hendersonville’s lives changed forever when Piedmont Flight 22 out of
Asheville collided with a Cessna 310 over the skies above Hendersonville a little after 12 PM on
July 19, 1967. The Boeing 727, owned by Piedmont Airlines, was headed from Asheville to
Roanoke, VA and the Cessna was headed from Charlotte to Asheville.

Debris and bodies and airplane parts rained down on Hendersonville in the area in and
around Camp Pinewood on Orr’s Camp Road and even onto I-26. One body fell through the roof
of a house in the neighborhood around Camp Pinewood. The woods around Camp Pinewood
caught on fire and a combination of volunteer fire departments, rescue personnel, the police
department and ambulances rushed to the scene. All 82 people aboard the airplanes died in the
mid-air collision.

My father was a member of the Blue Ridge Volunteer Fire Department at the time and
had been since about 1961. He was one of the hundreds of volunteers on the scene for the two
or three weeks after the crash.

I was only a year-and-a-half years old when the crash happened, but my older sister
Denise Walden, has vague memories of it and my father spoke of it occasionally for many years
afterwards. According to her, my father had clear memories of the bodies and especially the
body parts. Watches, rings, and other jewelry were visible on the arms and hands of the crash
victims so Blue Ridge was given a sector of the crash sight to guard against looters. They set up
a perimeter around their sector to guard against looters.

Blueridgenow.com, the internet version of The Hendersonville-Times News, has had
several excellent articles on Flight 22 and historian Paul D. Houle wrote a book about the crash
and how the investigation the newly formed National Transportation Safety Board investigated
the crash and what their findings were. There is also a Facebook Page, “Henderson County NC
In the Know” that recently posted an excellent article on the crash that goes into more specific
detail. There is also a 12 ½ ton boulder that is set up on the side of the road near the crash sight
as a memorial to all 82 crash victims.