How to get involved in Aviation Archaeology

So does searching for, locating and documenting old aircraft crash sites sound interesting and exciting? It is! How does one get involved?
  • Research is the first step. Going through the newspaper is the best bet to come up with dates. With the date you can obtain the crash report. With the location and picture information from these sources you can set out on your search. Check and see if any of the witnesses still live in the area. The crash reports will often have the witnesses’ names and even addresses. Another good source of leads is anyone who lived in the area during WWII --especially if they were a teenager at the time. If you live in California, Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of California by Pat Macha is another very good resource. Craig Fuller will soon have a similar book out on AZ and NV. See our books page.
North American F-86 Sabre tail at crash site North American F-86 Sabre wing at crash site
  • Wreck chasing by Nick Veronico is very good book on the basics. If you do not know of anyone who is already into this, don’t worry. Most of us started out searching on our own. It is best to have a hiking partner for safety, so find anyone else who is willing to traipse across the country side on a wild goose chase. See our books page.
  • Check out our bulletin board (it is currently under construction) for e-mail from people in your area.
  • Lost Birds organizes expeditions and offers an excellent newsletter.
  • Help AAIR’s database project. Print out a copy of the Historic Aircraft Crash Site Report Form and fill it out for any sites you find. The exact location will be kept confidential. AAIR does not give out exact locations. In an effort to help preserve these sites we only give out general locations which should be good enough for most research. We do make some exceptions: nationally accredited museums and historical societies, government agencies or firms working on government projects, and next of kin.
  • Participate in another of AAIR's research projects. See our research projects page.
  • Create a memorial. See the memorial page. This is a very effective way of getting more people interested in aviation archaeology. It is also a great way to teach people about our history.