Crash Victims Remembered for Love of Exotic Lands With PM-Antarctic Crash
Undated (AP) _ Friends of some of the Americans who died in the New Year’s Eve crash of a charter plane in the Antarctic said the victims shared a love of exotic lands and adventures.
Eight Americans and two Chilean crew members died when their twin-engine plane crashed into a glacier as they traveled to celebrate the new year with a barbeque in Antarctica.
The Americans, retired and working professionals from five states, were on a $6,000-per-person Chilean adventure arranged by a Florida-based tour organization. None had visited Antarctica previously.
Ben Callis, 33, of Key West, Fla., was an adventurer, frequently leading tourists on exotic trips to off-beat places around the world, said friends who gathered in Florida to mourn his death.
Callis attended Stetson Law School, sold real estate and worked part time for Provincetown-Boston Airline as a counter supervisor. He also led tourists on trips to Moscow, Morocco and other foreign locations for Hanns Ebensten Travel.
Callis was leading the 14-day tour, said Ebensten, owner of the agency. They were on the 11th day of the trip when their plane crashed.
″He was one of those people everybody likes, a great big gregarious teddy bear kind of man,″ said Mark Hines, a friend. ″He was fun and he was bright, sinfully bright.″
James M. Jasper, 56, an Oxnard, Calif., librarian who died in the crash loved travel and recently visited the Soviet Union and Europe, said Ed Hughes, director of the Oxnard Public Library.
″A lot of librarians tend to enjoy traveling because they often read about far-off countries and develop a desire to visit them,″ Hughes said Thursday.
Tim Lang, 33, of Carmichael, Calif., worked in the Sacramento headquarters of Arkoma Production Co. of California, an oil and gas exploration firm.
His mother, Rita Lang of Franklin Park, Pa., said her son had traveled to Europe, Brazil and India.
Susan Randall, an Arkoma employee, said Lang, who was single, enjoyed exotic locales and was planning a trip to Africa.
The bodies of the American victims arrived Thursday at Punta Arenas, the southernmost city on the South American mainland, in coffins aboard a Chilean air force plane. They were to be flown to Santiago after autopsies.