AAIR field report for July 1998

AAIR has been quite busy these past few months locating and documenting crash sites throughout the Southwest. Here are a few pictures of some of the sites that AAIR has located. Some are not too "exciting" as there is not much left at the site. However the point of aviation archaeology is not to find "exciting sites" with lots of wreckage remaining, but to find the location of where an aircraft crashed, determine what remains today, and record the site. Look for some of these sites to be "crash of months" in the future.

Not included are all of the pictures of the trips where we found no crash sites despite a day of hiking "aimlessly" through the desert, and there were many of those trips... your welcome.


Heidi inspecting the impact point of the wing from P-80B s/n 45-8588 that collided with P-80B s/n 45-8708 on 20 May 49, 32 miles south-southeast of Florence AZ.

Impact crater from P-51A s/n 43-6004 that crashed 32 miles south of Flagstaff. Debris from P-51A s/n 43-6004 that crashed on 17 MAR 45

AAIR set up a tour of the accident investigation laboratory at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Crash site of DB-7B AL-882 near Mohawk on 12 NOV 41. Don't see it? Look very, very closely!

Heidi inspecting debris just above the impact point of C-47B s/n 43-16151 that crashed into Black Mesa on Christmas day 1944 killing all 17 on board. Another 15 feet was all they needed. Propeller hub from the C-47B.


C-47A s/n 42-24190 / DC-3 c/n 10052. While a civil aircraft when it crash on 8 MAR 48 near San Jose, AAIR was interested in this aircraft because it saw service in Europe with both the 9th AF and 8th AF during WWII. As a side note, parts of this aircraft were recovered in 1956 and used on another airframe which assumed this aircraft's identity and flew for various cargo companies until at least 1971. The picture on the left shows the AAIR team investigating the impact point. The picture on the right is part of the fuselage with the horizontal stabilizers behind and to the right.

Not much, just a burned spot in the desert. Below, inspecting the impact point of the XF-14. Lining up original crash report photos to pinpoint the site.
Mid air collision between XF-14 s/n 44-83024 and B-25J s/n 44-83024, 7 miles southwest of Randsburg on 6 DEC 44. The XF-14 was the second P-80 Shooting Star prototype converted to a photo reconnaissance aircraft. The B-25 crash site had a road plowed over the top of it.

What's this, a Star Trek tri-corder convention? No, just comparing various makes and models of hand held GPS units. After a day of hiking with 10 people all we could locate was an impact point of one of the Allison motors from two P-38s that collided on 19 FEB 45, 22 miles north of Barstow. Later an AAIR researcher located an impact point one of the P-38s, but this site still needs some more field searching.


P-51D s/n 44-7464 that crashed while tuning onto base leg to Las Vegas AFB on 28 JUL 49.

Craig inspecting the crash site of a Las Vegas AAF P-39 8 miles north of present day Nellis AFB.

Crash site of P-51D s/n 44-74559 that crashed near Jean on 8 AUG 50. Don't see this one either? You have to look closely!



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