Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West

Picture Archive 4

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USAF personnel remove equipment from Douglas A-1E BuNo132435 that crashed 2/25/69 while searching for missing TA-4F. Both A-1E crewmen survived a hard landing in bad weather at 12,000' MSL near Mt. Whitney in the High Sierra. The A-1E wreck was mostly recovered by USMC CH-53 in the 1970's.


In September 1965 I traveled to Sequoia National Park with long time friend Jerry Boal. We climbed 9,046' Panther Peak to visit the crash site of Curtiss C-46F N1240N that once flew for Slick Airways.

On 1/13/59 while flying in a blinding snow storm N1240N crashed 200' below  Panther Peak killing both crewmen. The wreck remained undisturbed until 1967-68 when metal salvagers removed most of the aluminum. The site today contains the engines, landing gear, and extensive debris.

Grumman F6F-5K USN expended during tests at NWC China Lake in the 1950's to early 60's. (T. Gossett photo collection)


Piper Comanche N5607P crashed on the south slope of Red Mountain near Hwy 395 on 2/22/93 when the fuel supply was exhausted. The pilot and his passenger survived with minor injuries only. Wreck was removed.
(T. Gossett photo)

1967, Vietnam
I was with the 9th Engineer Battalion USMC, stationed outside of Chu Lai. My company was on a convoy going up Highway 1, to set up our new camp on Hill 10, south of Danang. As we stopped outside a ville, I took this picture of a Chinook helicopter transporting a Huey chopper slung underneath.
(Picture & story by Webguy Ron Funk)

In the early 1970s my brother Chris Macha hiked into the Pioneer Lakes Basin of the High Sierra. There he found the "marked" wreckage of this WWII Ryan PT-22 trainer. The intact Kinner five cylinder R-440-3 radial engine is visible in the center of the photo. The following year this historic aircraft was deemed an eyesore and was removed by the Sierra Club. (Chris Macha photo)

I was a sophomore at Long Beach State College in 1965 when Beechcraft Bonanza N459B crash landed on the lower campus tennis courts.


One person was seriously injured, and one person suffered only minor injuries. Fuel mismanagement issues were listed as the cause in the official NTSB report.

In the Summer of 1970 I visited the wreck of a General Motors built, Grumman TBM on the rugged Oregon coast near the town of North Bend. Even though this site was but a few hundred yards east of Hwy 1 it remained unlocated for some time. (G.P.Macha photo)


The burned and corroded wing section of WWII era TBM as seen in 1970. To this day I have no date or other details concerning this accident. (G.P. Macha)


On 5/29/71 retired USAF General Richard O. Hunziker and his wife crashed to their deaths on cloud enshrouded Hines Peak at the 6,500' level. I first flew by this site in June 1972, and most recently in 2004. The General's Cessna 182 N2147G remains intact and undisturbed to this day. (G.P.Macha photo)

Ercoupe N7506C crash site 3,000' MSL in Santa Ynez Mountains north of Santa Barbara. The pilot was killed in this weather related accident on 9/4/63. Wreck is unburned and unmarked. I took the aerial photo taken from C-172 on 6/29/74. (G. Pat Macha photo)


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