The three climbers had heard about the missing plane as children, and as they sat in a mountain hut the evening before their expedition, they even mentioned it, wondering if they might perhaps come across it, online new site Blick reported.
Manuel Rufener, Peter Flühmann and Lucas Kocher ascended the glacier last Friday when they saw something protruding from the ice.
“When we saw that it was the propeller of the legendary Dakota, we could not believe our luck,” Manuel Rufener from Zweisimmen in Bern told the website.
The Dakota crashed during a violent snowstorm in November 1946. All twelve passengers survived, although one was badly injured. The group survived on food parcels dropped by rescue teams until conditions allowed them to come down from the mountain.
“We wrapped ourselves in our parachutes,” Alice McMahon, who was 11 years old at the time of the crash, told the website. She also recalled the groans of the injured man, “especially when the morphine ran out.”
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Following the group's rescue, the plane was buried in snow and ice, and has only now re-emerged.