Ordeal in the Arctic is a television film written by Paul F. Edwards and directed by Mark Sobel. “The irony of the situation,” he says, “is that I was the only person on the plane with arctic survival training and, due to my injuries, was not able to help others.”, Mr. Montgomery is one of two survivors who sustained permanent disabilities. The pilot died of exposure while awaiting rescue. [5], 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.

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. Patricia Brennan from The Washington Post advised: "If you sit down to watch “Ordeal in the Arctic,” bring along a cup of tea.

Mr. Montgomery returned to CFS Alert in June 1993 for the dedication of the cairn in memory of those who died in the crash. 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. [3][N 1]. In 1991, a CC-130 Hercules aircraft carrying 18 people Within minutes, Air Transport Group headquarters was notified that Boxtop 22 had likely crashed and the status of survivors was not known. Although they are able to see the base prior to the crash, blizzard-like conditions prevent anyone from going for help. Casualties from the crash of the Boxtop 22 Hercules arrive aboard a Challenger jet following their rescue and evacuation in November, 1991. The aircraft hit a rocky cliff and crashed 16 kilometres south of CFS Alert. RCAF No.435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, "Accident description: Lockheed CC-130E Hercules, 30 October 1991. Monty Montgomery, a survivor of Boxtop Flight 22, pays silent tribute to those who died. “The best compliment I’ve received from people is that they forget I’m disabled,” he says. 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. Jill St. Marseille Photo. “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.”. “I am not using my prostheses on a regular basis,” he says. Because he was delirious for most of that time, Master Seaman Montgomery didn’t play a major role in the others’ survival. On October 30, 1991, at approximately 4:40 p.m., Flight 22 of Operation Boxtop - as the biannual resupply mission to CFS Alert is called - was on its final approach to the station from Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. This article first appeared on July 23, 2008, in the Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces newspaper The Maple Leaf. Welcome. Boxtop 22 was the 22nd flight of the second airlift of 1991. 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. ", "Canadian Forces Station Alert: CC130 130322 Crash. 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. Today, he doesn’t mind talking about the crash. It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you today for this ceremony commemorating Boxtop 22. Members of CFB Trenton held a special ceremony at the National Air Force Museum of Canada on Sunday afternoon to commemorate the event. That day, on board Boxtop Flight 22, many of the passengers were sleeping or chatting with one another. 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. The subsequent crash investigation recommended all CC-130s be retrofitted with ground proximity detectors and beefed-up Arctic survival equipment. It’s a movie that’s a little hard to warm up to." 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. 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. [7] 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."[8]. Another SAR Tech involved in the rescue, Master Corporal Tim Eagle from 440 Squadron, acted as the SAR technical advisor. His book thoroughly documented the 1991 crash and subsequent rescue. Three toes were grafted to his left hand to give him some use of the hand. “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.

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