COCOA BEACH – A Cocoa Beach businessman and his wife were killed Tuesday night [April 13, 1971] when their twin-engine private airplane crashed in the mountains near Harlan, Ky.
Dead are Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wesley Howard, 46, 210 Bimini Road,
The plane was bound from Charlotte, N.C., to Columbus, Ohio, when the crash occurred during a rainstorm, state police Capt. Bob Haddock said, “and even a light storm causes a lot of turbulence in these mountains.”
The plane went down about seven miles northeast of Harlan, near the junctions of U.S. 421 and KY 221.
The nearest airport is at Harlan, but it is an unlighted strip atop a mountain. “Kinda like an aircraft carrier,” the police captain said.
Haddock said residents of the area near the crash scene told him they heard a plane circling in the skies Tuesday night, but apparently no one witnessed the crash.
The fallen plane and its victims were found by police after the plane was reported overdue at its destination.
The Howards had lived in Brevard County for the past 15 years. He was owner of the Tom Howard Construction which built most of the homes in the Twin Lakes area north of Cocoa.
They are survived by a daughter, Mrs. William Halfhill, now living in Japan; son, Bill, 18, student at Brevard Community College; son, Ralph, 22, Air Force in Georgia; son, Tommy, 20, student in Tampa, and a daughter, Mary, 15, a student at Roosevelt Junior High.