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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 12113
Last updated: 16 March 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-24-260 Comanche
Owner/operator:Youngs Flying
Registration: N8779P
C/n / msn: 24-4230
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Gulf of Mexico, between Harlingen, Texas and Mobile, Alabama -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Rio Grande Valley International Airport, Harlingen, Texas HRL/KHRL)
Destination airport:Mobile Regional Airport,Mobile,Alabama (MOB/KMOB)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Written off (destroyed) July 7 1971 when went missing on a flight between Harlingen, Texas, and Mobile, Alabama. The 58-year-old pilot (sole person on board) was killed. Circumstantial evidence, based on the aircraft flight plan would incidate that it ditched/crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas or Alabama. However, aircraft damage and injury index presumed, as no trace of the aircraft wreckage of the pilot was ever found.

According to a contempprary newspaper report ("Valley Morning Star from Harlingen, Texas 13 July 1971 Page 1"):

"$2,000 Reward Offered For Information Leading To Recovery Of Pilot. Mrs. Charles W. Parce, of; Harlingen, wife of the missing airplane pilot, said Monday the family has posted a $2,000, reward for information leading to the recovery of the blue and white Piper PA-24-260 Comanche, No. N8779P, or its! occupants, Charles W. Parce, and passenger, Clyde Dollens, both Harlingen businessmen who disappeared on a flight to Mobile, Ala., last Wednesday. which left Harlingen Wednesday, July 7, at 9:15 a. m. along a coastal route to Mobile, Ala., should phone Harlingen, Tex. 512-423-1212, Mrs. Parce said.

In the reward notice, Mrs. Parce also expressed her "deep appreciation for the "tremendous and dedicated" efforts which Civil Air Patrol units extended In the extensive search for Parce. from Harlingen to Mobile," Mrs. Parce said, "and were extremely impressed with their dedication." dedicated people than those in the CAP whom we met who were conducting the search." "Inasmuch as the CAP has recover the airplane and its' occupants," Flynn said.

Fred Parce, son of the missing pilot, said Monday afternoon that a twin-engine Aerostar aircraft, piloted by Chuck Sundin of Harlingen would fly over the Parce route from Harlingen to Corpus Christi after dark to see if any flares, or fires could be spotted; in the night. "It might be the plane went down and the occupants are unable to walk out," he said. "Maybe they built a signal fire and if so, we might spot it at night."

Although CAP units in Texas, Louisiana , and Mississippi searched for days for the missing plane and its occupants, further CAP search flights have been temporarily suspended, pending new leads, officials said. now suspended its search, the family felt that the posting of this reward could very possibly generate new leads which the CAP could successfully use.

Harlingen businessman F. L. "Any person formation disappearance having any in - concerning the of the plane "Members of the family personally checked with each CAP unit along the Parce route. Flynn, father-in-law of the missing pilot, said he had "never met a group of more dedicated searcher"


1. NTSB Identification: FTW72AF013 at

Revision history:

25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
06-Mar-2015 20:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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