Darlene L. Hall 5/16/98 Radcliffe Glacier Flying Crash
Michael R. Jaussaud 5/16/98 Radcliffe Glacier Flying Crash

Weather Thwarts Retrieval Of Bodies
By Rachel D'oro, ADN 5/18/98

After they reunited three years ago, Michael R. Jaussaud and Darlene L. Hall were inseparable sweethearts.  They lived in Wasilla together, they played together, they even worked together.

And over the weekend, they died together in another shared passion: flying.  Rescuers found the couple's bodies Saturday night in the wreckage of Jaussaud's Cessna 182, which crashed into Radcliffe Glacier southeast of Palmer.  Alaska State Troopers said extremely windy conditions probably caused the accident at the 8,500-foot level of the glacier where it intersects with the Knik Glacier.

Bad weather also prevented rescuers from retrieving the bodies Sunday, trooper Sgt. Matt Leveque said.

''Whenever the weather improves, we'll be back out there again,'' he said.  Jaussaud's mother, Barbara Macy, said she last saw her 41-year-old son Thursday night when she picked up the couple's dog, Sheba, so they could fly to Petersburg, where they planned to meet up with friends and go fishing.  Macy said the Cessna had its annual checkup earlier this month, and everything seemed fine.

Jaussaud and Hall left Friday morning and were reported overdue by Petersburg friends Saturday when they failed to show up, troopers said.  Besides fishing and flying, Jaussaud and his 34-year-old girlfriend hunted, boated, water skied and snowmachined together.  Hall also helped Jaussaud with his snow removal business, Macy said.

''They were never apart,'' Macy said from her Chugiak home. ''One of my son's friends said you couldn't separate them with a sharp stick.''  Jaussaud and Hall were born in Petersburg and met when Hall was still in high school.  They dated for a while, then went their separate ways, Macy said.  Hall married and moved to Washington state, living near some mutual friends of Jaussaud.

A few years ago, Jaussaud called his mother and told her that Hall was divorcing, and he was bringing her home with him, Macy said.

''I said, 'Good for you. It's about time,' '' she said.  ''I was so happy they were together again.  We all loved Darlene.''

Because the couple was so close, their families are planning to hold joint memorial services for both in Petersburg and Wasilla  Then they plan to combine their ashes and scatter them over the Mat-Su valleys, Macy said.  ''We want them to always be together,'' she said.  ''That's how they would have wanted it.''

Editors Note: Storms prevented later attempts to recover the bodies.  The bodies are currently buried in the glacier


NTSB Accident Database
A/C Type: Cessna 172
N-Number: N9212H

Preliminary Report
On May 15, 1998, sometime after 0847 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N9212H, was destroyed when it impacted mountainous terrain at the 8,500 feet msl level of the Radcliffe Glacier, about 38 miles east of Palmer, Alaska, at position 61 degrees 21 minutes north latitude, 147 degrees 52 minutes west longitude. The private pilot and the sole passenger sustained fatal injuries. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, as a personal flight from Big Lake, Alaska, to Petersburg, Alaska. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at Big Lake at the time of departure. The weather conditions at the accident site are unknown. Flight precautions for turbulence and mountain obscurations were in effect in the area forecast for the time of the accident. The last radio contact was at 0847 on May 15 with the FAA Kenai Flight Service Station, when the pilot requested current weather. No flight plan was filed. The airplane was reported overdue by a friend at 1100 on May 16. The airplane was located at 2300 on May 16.