Eastern Airlines Flt 401 Crash

All about Bud Marquis & the people he helped that night.
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Sniper
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Eastern Airlines Flt 401 Crash

Post by Sniper » Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:23 pm

I just read the account of the crash it gave me chills to read it I have all ways wondered who the Hero in the Airboat was that saved so many lives that night with his Airboat but never knew his name and I found it it was
"Robert Marquis" does any one out there Know this man ? does he still drive airboat or is he a member of this web site in my book, him and his friend are true hero's for what they did that night and if some of you out there don't know the story I suggest you look it up on the web I guess Airboaters have all ways been and all ways will be good people that like to help.

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Post by wade » Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:22 pm

Sniper, It's nice to hear people helping people in need just because they care :) . Not too many people like that in the world today :( Would have to say though, It was a terrible sight to see. He's a hero in my book! Hope he is here on the site, that would be pretty cool I think :)

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Post by jdotson » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:59 pm

Below is a link to a very informative site dedicated to the survivors. There is a message board there as well with a recent message from one of the surviving stewardesses.

http://www.geocities.com/donuts13/

The area of the crash should be a point of interest when riding in the glades although it probably looks like any other area around there. Anyone know how far the Valujet flight 592 (May 11, 1996) crash was from the Eastern flight 401 crash?

Moderators Edit:

The Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 Memorial Website,
the most comprehensive online record of the events of December 29, 1972, has moved to a new home on the Internet.


The site can now be found at http://eastern401.googlepages.com

The new site alows for more photos and information relating to the crash of Eastern Flight 401, it's passengers, crew, rescue workers and aftermath of the first crash of a jumbo jet.

Scotty

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Post by BigBoom » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:48 pm

Valuejet was 3.6miles north of Eastern on a heading of 12 deg. The Eastern crash was at 25-51-53, 80-35-43. Valuejet was at 25-55, 80-35. I flew over Valuejet's site the next day and there was nothing to see but a oil slick on the water. Eastern's site has overgrown since the accident. I saw some pictures a year ago on the net some took of some pieces of the aircraft someone found in the the glades a couple of years ago.

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Post by airduds » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:07 pm

Look what I just found on that website:

Posted by Ken Pine on June 24, 2006, 7:33 pm, in reply to "Website used for instruction"
65.2.204.144

Just a note to all. My name is Ken Pine, I am a roofing project manager in Homestead Fl. Tonite I was doing an estimate on a house in homestead and I was honored to meet Mr. Robert Marquis. I believe you all know who his is. He is the gentleman that in 1972 was in his boat in the everglades doing some "frogging", guess that means he was catching some frogs. He told me how he saw the plane crash, he was about 10 miles and 15 minutes from the site and how when he got to the site, it was horrible. He rescued an untold number of people from the plane, getting hurt in the process.
The reason I am writing this is Mr Marquis is now around 88 years old, in bad health and about to lose his home. I spoke to him at length today, and he and his wife are in a very bad way. I work for BriteTop Roofing here in Fl and since I do not own the company, the best I can do is to build the roof at cost which is probably going to get me in a lot of trouble, maybe not. I am going to talk to my boss and see if I can do better, maybe my company can just give him a roof. His roof was pretty much destroyed in Hurricane Wilma last October. If anyone has any ideas how to help this hero, I will gladly field them and work with you to get this gent back to where he deserves to be. He is a very humble man in bad health. I am willing to open a bank account in his name for any donations that are offered. He really is a great man, he has lived in his house since approx 1968 and I really want to help him. Please believe this is not some sort of scheme, if you call me I can lay it all out and you can meet him if you like. I just want to help the man and his wife and at this point in time, I just don't have the resources to get done what needs to get done. These are wonderful folks that need help and I think we have all been there at some point in our lives. Again, my name is Ken Pine, my phone number is 786-728-2600 and I work for BriteTop Roofing in Homestead FL. I will take any and all suggestions and all help offered.

Ken Pine
BriteTop Roofing
Homestead Fl
786-728-2600
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Post by Sniper » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:21 pm

Man I have wondered for years where that guy was I figured he had to be fairly old by now I think we should try to to a fund raiser for this guy and it would not hurt to get the media involved in on this on as much as they can be a pain in the back side they also can be useful in things like this the Guy is truly a hero in my eyes and a lot more people would have died that night if it was not for him, I'm in to see what we can do to help
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Post by Olf Art » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:42 pm

Sniper, that is an outstanding gesture, man. Just had an idea ......

It is now 35 yrs. since that incident. Would the information people at the FAA be interested in sending an article to the major newspapers, kind of memorializing the efforts of this man ?
Something like a 'remember when' thing, but highlighting the bravery of this airboater that night ?

I'll bet they'd print it.
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Post by jpatter123 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:40 pm

What an incredibly well written account of the events. Since I was born 3 years after that accident occured I had never read about it. Seems there might have been more then 1 hero that night.

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Post by Sniper » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:06 pm

Actually there was two guy's in the boat that night I don't know where the other guy is now but I think that maybe some one like Date Line nbc or 60 minutes or some one like that would be good as well as the FAA if we could some how get this National attention that would get the ball rolling if people just knew they would probably step in and help and of course there is all way opera Winfrey and what's that show where they come in and tear down a there old house and build them a new one for family's in need
there are lots of things we could try it's just a matter of writing a few letters but I feel this man is worth the effort just think on how many lives he touched that night that he rescued all those people, the family's of the survivors would probably even help if they knew about it so lets spread the word
Sniper You can run but why die tired, If you heard my shot you were not the target
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Post by Duece » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:10 pm

If you go on Google Earth you can see the crash sites. Use the gps numbers and it will get you close and you can look at the points of interests.

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Post by basketcase0302 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:58 pm

Sniper & Airduds,

Good work! Sounds like a man truly worthy of help for sure.

Wonder if Marshrider or Airboating Magazine would do an article?

Maybe a South Florida monthly ride to the site with a collection?

Just hope it's not too late to help him.

Basketcase

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Crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 401-Rescue

Post by Guest » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:56 pm

The Crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 - Rescue
http://eastern401.googlepages.com/crash2

To grasp the size of the Everglades and their barren quality, it is necessary to imagine a land area half as large as Connecticut, flooded by a foot of water and overgrown with impenetrable sage. On December 29th, 1972, Robert Marquis and a friend rode an airboat through the dark expanse of the swamp. They were gigging frogs. "As far as I am concerned, there's nothing like it," he said. "There's not a prettier place you can go to get away from people."

The moon had set at 1:12 that afternoon, and a half a mile high, a few clouds plumed in frosty trails. The airboat tunneled through the darkness, its path picked out by a light that Marquis wore on his head, like a coal miner's headlamp. He had fashioned the lamp himself, and kept his head turned slightly to the right. He was looking for bullfrogs to catch. Marquis navigated through the dark swamp by little more than dead reckoning and experience. According to Marquis, he had never been lost in the Glades, although he would concede that "I got misplaced a few times." The trick was to keep in your head a mental map of where you were at all times. He knew that the long, faint glow in the distance was made by the lights of Miami, to the east. And he knew that behind him on the west was Levee 67C, an edifice of the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District.

My 11:40 Marquis and his friend had caught about thirty pounds of frogs. He had been working his way east, toward the glow of Miami, and now he pulled back on the steering stick and turned the boat north, then a little northwest. Marquis then noticed the lights of a large jet. The plane was flying west, and it seemed very close. Although he couldn't hear the jet over the roar of the airboat's motor, he knew it was very close; he could see the strobe lights flashing in the ends of the wings. Moments later he saw "a ball of fire, an orange, orange glow that just lit up and spread out for about eight thousand feet across the Glades; looked like maybe it went up a hundred foot high, just for a short duration of eight or ten seconds." He yelled to his passenger, Rayburn Dickinson, "that was a plane crash, wasn't it?"

"Yeah, looked like it."

Marquis put his foot on the throttle and started darting across the swamp in the blackness toward where he had seen the flash.

@@@@@

Robert Marquis' airboat jounced over the saw grass through the dark swamp for about fifteen minutes. Robert stopped the motor and listened. He heard screams in the distance and was dismayed by the thought that the noise was coming from the other side of the flood control levee. He continued in the direction of the shouts and stopped again. Now the screams seemed to be coming from behind him. He ran the airboat around a thick strand of growth. "The first thing I saw was a great big piece of the wreckage as I was coming across this heavy saw grass. And I literally run right into it. I had to stop the boat, get out, turn it around. It dented the rake on the front of the boat...I turned around, got back on the trail...and hit the path where the plane hit the ground. It looked about fifty to a hundred yards wide and maybe a quarter of a mile long just littered with trash and debris."


"When I first started working into the wreckage, I began seeing people - some of them laying in the water, some of them wandering around, walking, but very slowly. I got as close as I could without running over anybody, and then I got out. There were dead people everywhere. And everywhere I looked were half-naked people. Some completely naked. I felt so helpless. The first one I came to was a man who looked like he was about to drown. Looked like both his legs were broken. Couldn't move. The only thing he could move was his head, and it kept falling into the water. He said, 'Help me; I can't hold my head up much longer.' So I pulled him up and rested his back and propped his head up out of the water. There were lots of people in turned-over seats, their heads in the water. I tried to help the ones that possibly were drowning."

After some minutes, Marquis noticed a helicopter in the sky. It was obviously searching for the crash, but it was sweeping the wrong area. He slogged back to his airboat, got his helmet light and began swinging it around.
Last edited by Guest on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Guest » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:04 pm

There is an airline crash survivors group that would be an excellent source for funding efforts. There are people in that group who owe there lives to Robert Marquis.
That group is: http://www.PlaneSafe.org
I used to be in close contact with that group, but have lost contact over the years.
Some interested person should pick up the ball and run with it. There used to be a couple of folks in the FAA who would and could do it.
It is now time to see what the new and improved FAA can do.
*********** 8)

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Post by Sniper » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:11 pm

man this story just gets to me every time I read it I can't imagin what must have been going thru his head I just hope that I get to shake the hand of this Airboating hero even with all the lives that I have saved with my boat It will still never compair to what these two men did with one Airboat there is a lot of people that would not be walking around today if it was not for the effortts of these guy's and what they did to help God sent two Angles to help that day and they came in a Airboat
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John C
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Post by John C » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:18 pm

I just spoke with Ken pine, the guy who put a new roof on Mr. Marquis house in Homestead. He said that he lives in the same neighborhood as Robert Marquis. He told me that Mr. Marquis still has his airboat but has not been out on it in 8 years. IMO Mr. Marquis is a true Hero for the actions he took that night. Ken Pine told me that Mr. Marquis saved approx. 15 people at the crash site and received burns to his legs while pulling survivors from the burning plane. We need to do something to help this man out. I like Baskets idea of a ride and a collection. who knows this area. there should be several people on this site that do and would be willing to put something togeather.

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Post by hmgm123 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:32 pm

Did they ever find all of the plane, if I remember correctly they could not find a large part of the plane because it went straight in to the mud.

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Post by Olf Art » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:56 pm

Outstanding, John C. Even if I can't make the ride I can still write a check. Let's do it, folks. There are over 1400 of us.
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Post by fatboy0054 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:31 pm

1400 TIMES 20 ! THIS ONE SHOULD NOT GO ON DONE ! AND JUST TAKE IT DOWN TO HIM AND SAY THANK YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE !AND PROUD TO KNOW YOU SIR ! WE CAN TAKE A RIDE OR WHAT EVER YALL WANT BUT KEEPIN HIS WAY OF LIFE ! LET HIM ENJOY HIS LAST DAYS ! THANK SNIPER !NEED A ADDRESS OR A ACCOUNT ~!yall
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Post by Olf Art » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:39 pm

Fatboy. I'll go to the post office in the morning and get a PO box for the Robert Marquis Fund, and set up an account over at a local bank where I can deposit the checks.
That way, we can one day present this gentleman a cashier's check from all of us at Southern Airboat.

Give me a few hours to make it happen and then I'll post the address on this thread.

olf

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Post by SwampMatt » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:41 pm

-
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Post by Daddy Dave » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:49 pm

Count me in...for some $$$$ and effort, too. Bishop Wright is closeby...maybe he can pay a visit and come up with a plan...whoever wants to take the lead...I'm all for this one.
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Post by fatboy0054 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:52 pm

JUST TALK TO MR PINE ! HE SAID HE WOULD DO WHATEVER ! GOOD OLD BOY ! JOHN C TALK TO HIM EARLIER ! YES SIR KEN DO YOUR THING ! POST IT ! I TOLD HIM ABOUT OUR FAMILY HERE HE SHOULD READING ABOUT US RITE ABOUT NOW ! !
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Post by airduds » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:58 pm

Just a suggestion in addition to what's already afoot.

This year will be the 35th anniversary of the crash. Why not organize and arrange to take any and all interested family members/friends of the crash victims and rescue people etc. to the site on that day? Including of course Mr. Marquis if he'd be inclined to return.

I intend to donate to the fund that's going to be established but this could mean a lot to many, many people.
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.

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Post by John C » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:07 pm

Ken said that Mr. Marquis is a humble man in need of some help. He gave him the best price that his company would allow to put his roof on, but his out of pocket expense was approx. $6,000 after his insurance money was spent to repair all the hurricane damage to his home. Thanks Olf for your help setting up a fund. Count me in for some $$$ This is a worthy cause and the right thing to do.

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Post by Olf Art » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:27 pm

OK, my mind is spinning again. Just an idea. What say you all that we run this Fund until maybe about a week before Thanksgiving. That's about three months. That will give every member of this forum time to come up with a few bucks and mail it in.

Then, whatever the total at that time I'll get a cashier's check and someone from our group can take it and present it to Mr. Marquis?

Give me some input.
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