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Woodbury resident Harold Gifford this year released the book “The Miracle Landing” — his first-hand account of piloting a plane loaded with professional basketball players to safety during a dangerous snowstorm in 1960. Staff photo by Mike Longaecker

Woodbury man’s book chronicles ‘Miracle Flight’

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Harold Gifford walks among his fellow Woodbury residents without much fanfare.

That’s not the case when he travels to Carroll, Iowa. Waitresses ask for his autograph there.


They understand how different life might have been in their town 50 years ago if the plane Gifford was flying would have crashed instead of safely skidding to a halt in a cornfield.

“I was kind of a hero to those people,” said the 89-year-old who lives with his wife Carol in a home off Lake Road.

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Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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