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Stephens to honor his fallen teammates through bike ride to Colorado – The Sunflower

Stephens to honor his fallen teammates through bike ride to Colorado – The Sunflower 2020-10-05Leave a comment

electrical bike Stephens to honor his fallen teammates by way of bike trip to Colorado – The Sunflower

Airplane crash survivor Rick Stephens has been honoring his late teammates in a inventive method. Stephens and two others are bike driving from the memorial all the best way to the crash web site close to Silver Plume, Colorado in honor of the fiftieth anniversary. 

Stephens remembers the day of Oct. 2, 1970 vividly. 

Stephens, a former Wichita State soccer participant, remembers touring to Logan, Utah for a sport about Utah State. Initially, the aircraft needed to cease at Stapleton Airport in Denver as a result of a problem with the hydraulic hose that was resolved. 

WSU was touring with two planes to the sport however each took two completely different routes to get to Logan, Utah. Just one would arrive safely. 

Stephens remembers noticing that the aircraft wasn’t gaining a lot altitude and even entered the cockpit and noticed the pilots in an pressing state of chaos. 

“I received up out of my seat, went to the cockpit and noticed the pilots in a state of pressing chaos, making an attempt to determine how we may make it over 14,000-foot elevation,” Stephens stated. “It was very unimaginable to try this. I spotted one thing was amiss, one thing was fallacious. I fell to the ground, I keep in mind timber being clipped by the wings and after that the subsequent factor I keep in mind is waking up outdoors the plane fairly the gap away from the airplane.”

Not like the “Black” aircraft, the “Gold” aircraft determined to fly over the Continental Divide which was the deadly mistake that resulted within the crash close to Silver Plume, Colorado. 

“Our aircraft determined to go straight over I-70 to Loveland Move which was the last word mistake that prompted the accident,” Stephens stated. “The aircraft was chubby, they need to’ve been conscious of that they usually didn’t observe the flight plan. There have been loads of questions on how the flight was performed.”

On account of the crash, 29 individuals had been killed on the scene and two others died within the weeks following the crash. Stephens was one of many 9 survivors from the crash and solely escaped with some burns and damaged bones. 

For Stephens, the crash has the largest affect throughout this time of the 12 months when the anniversary nears. 

“At the moment of the 12 months, I’m continuously reminded of tragic occasions that occurred,” Stephens stated. My accidents weren’t critical or life-threatening. That’s the good disappointment of it. My life has gone on, I feel pretty productively as a trainer for 30 years within the public college system. 

Stephens has gone on bike rides to the crash web site lately in hopes of conserving the reminiscence of this tragic occasion alive. 

“I’ve tried to maintain the reminiscence of this occasion alive over the previous ten years doing a little pretty in depth bike driving to lift cash for the Memorial scholarship,” Stephens stated. “I’ve had some bodily issues as a result of accidents however nothing’s that prevented me from residing my life.”

Through the years, Stephens has gone on 5 bike rides in complete to lift cash for the Soccer ‘70 Memorial Scholarship which was put in place in honor of those that died within the crash 50 years in the past. 

“The scholarship was arrange for individuals who perished and their youngsters to go to Wichita State after which they expanded it to survivor’s youngsters,” Stephens stated. “Each of my youngsters have gone to Wichita State on that scholarship fund. I feel it’s an admirable trigger to assist that scholarship that they’ve helped us and I felt considerably obligated to pay again in that method.”

With it being 50 years because the aircraft crash occurred, Stephens stated that it’s tough to comprehend that half a century has handed because the tragedy. 

Stephens stated this journey will likely be particular figuring out that it might be his final journey up. 

“There was an outpouring of grief and assist from the group and the sports activities world usually,” Stephens stated. “I feel this a particular one myself included because it is perhaps my final hoorah. The college has been excellent about paying tribute to the survivors, those that misplaced youngsters, brothers, sisters, dads, mothers. They’ve been good about doing that.”

Stephens’ bike trip will start on Oct. 3 and can arrive in Silver Plume, Colorado on Oct. 9 earlier than heading up on the mountain the next day. 

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