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At its inception, Patrons of the 1956 Grand Canyon Midair Collision was a fellowship of surviving family members of those who lost their lives in the terrible disaster that its name signifies. We were brought together in 2016 through the efforts of Ranger Ian Hough and the president of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, Wayne Ranney. Along with several assistants, they located many of us and invited us to attend the 60th anniversary commemoration of the tragedy. There, most of us met each other for the first time, and we felt an automatic kinship. At Ian and Wayne's instigation some of us decided to form the present group. 

We have since restructured our group so that it includes anyone and everyone who cares about the tragedy, with all of us on equal footing, whether we lost a loved one or never had any connection to the accident until now, and all points in-between. Correspondingly,  we have changed the name of the group from Families of the 1956 Midair Collision at Grand Canyon, which of course denoted a more exclusive membership than what we have now decided to invite. Caring and reverence are the only requirements ~ everyone who feels those sentiments is welcome. We hope you join us.

To join us please contact Barbara Nelson, at:, on our contact page. We don't ask for any personal information beyond your name, your involvement or interest in the accident, and either or both of your street address and your email address. As a service to members, we foresee eventually publishing a membership directory listing those of us who would like to be in it, and no one who does not give his prior permission. Beyond this, and crediting contributors to the newsletter that we hope to publish, no personal information will be disseminated in any manner.


Along with the goal of  fellowship, we have several practical, material goals, some of which are:

  • publish a newsletter that announces get-togethers, serves as a forum for members to contribute letters, announces projects, and just in general keeps everyone informed

  • buying a heavy duty observation telescope trained permanently on the crash area from the vantage point of one of the suitable scenic overlooks

  • using a corner of an already-existing structure on the South Rim to set up and maintain a semi-permanent educational display of pertinent artifacts and demonstrations, such as illustrative paintings or drawings, and ideally, a large, very detailed diorama, all depicting the physical circumstances of the accident

  • amassing the funding and gaining the approval for erecting a small, permanent museum with the same contents and purpose as the semi-permanent display mentioned above

  • staffing the museum with one or more persons to answer questions and to give frequent, informative talks 


Patrons of the 1956 Grand Canyon Midair Collision is a non-profit organization. There are no membership fees or dues.  We support ourselves solely through donations, which we do not solicit. Donations can be made to the group's trust fund through the Treasurer of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, which for the time being is fostering our group through fiduciary responsibility. Their treasurer, is a CPA who specializes in nonprofit accounting. You can contact the GCHS if you would like to make donations for Patrons of the 1956 Grand Canyon Midair Collision, by going to their website and following their prompts at making donations.  Just be sure that you state that your donations or contributions are for the 1956 Grand Canyon Midair Collision account. 

Mike Nelson: president, website editor, newsletter editor, and author of We Are Going In

Tom Sulpizio: vice president, and vice president of Grand Canyon Historical Society

Barbara Nelson: secretary, website creator and editor, and event coordinator


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