Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE April Pilot Martin Hartwell wants to resume bush flying EDMONTON (CP) Sixteen months after a crash shattered his career and turned his personal life into a nightmare, Marten Hartwell still wants to return to bush flying. "The bush pilot himself doesn't know why he goes up any more but he can't he's just said Mr Hartwell, 49, in an interview. "There is nobody in the world who is more nuts and crazy than the bush pilot, but he can't do anything else When he talks about the future, he displays the determination that pulled him through a 32-day ordeal in the Arctic winter with two broken ankles, a fractured kneecap and nose. "I don't know if I will ever be accepted again by companies, but I will try I will talk to everyone who might give me a job." It started Nov. 8, 1972, when Mr. Hartwell volunteered to pilot a 550-mile mercy flight from Cambridge Bay, N.W.T., to Yellowkmfe. Two died instantly His Beechcraft 18 somehow strayed from its flight path, hitting a wooded hillside 180 miles off course and killing two passengers, Nurse Judy Hill and Neemee Nulliayok, who was in premature labor. Mrs. Nulliayok's nephew, 14-year-old David Kootook, who had been diagnosed as having acute appendicitis, died 23 days later. Mr. Hartwell, finally reduced to eating the nurse's flesh to stay alive, was rescued after more than a month. But the ordeal was far from over. The shy, retiring man returned to civilization to find himself the centre of a controversy over search and rescue methods. Ahead lay an inquest, notoriety, lawsuits and repeated operations on his legs. The inquest concluded that Mr. Hartwell's inexperience in flying the Beechcraft at night contributed to the accident and that instruments necessary for the night flight were not in proper working condition. He lost his flying licence and, although he has applied to write examinations for a commercial pilot's licence, there has been no reply from the department of transport. Ready to fly "I am waiting for the go he said "I think I'm certainly ready to take the exams and fly again. It's my second nature." Government officials say the delay is caused by Mr. Hartwell's medical history and "has nothing to do with his skills and knowledge." "As soon as he qualifies under the medical requirements he's perfectly welcome to write the said a spokesman. Faces more litigation Mr. Hartwell admitted that more than his love of flying is involved in his desire for a new licence. Since the crash he has been without income except that provided by the Workmen's Compensation Board. "The money I got was not very substantial as far as the lawyer's fees said Mr. Hartwell, who has settled a action brought by Miss Hill's estate out of court. Another suit involving David Kootook, Mrs. Nulliayok and the unborn baby still is outstanding. "I'm not particularly he said. "These people lost their relatives. They have a right to demand something." One area where some bitterness remains, although Mr. Hartwell denies it, is the press's treatment of the crash, rescue and inquest. "Why do you think the question of cannibalism or whatever you call it was so he asked. But then the tension evaporated. "I was bitter about the press, but now I am over it I want to be' the first person to say publicly that it had been done. I did it and I would have to stand for it. "The RCMP advised me not to talk." EATON'S CANADA tin 3 mi The Ride's On Us Friday a.m. to a.m. Trans-Canada sale shoppers can ride free to Eaton's on Friday on any Transit bus, any city route, from a.m. to a.m. Eaton's will pick up the tab. Join Trans-Canada Sale fun and savings at Eaton's all this week. 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