Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West



On the moonless night of August 10, 2002 three passengers boarded Aero Commander 690A N690TB at Oakland International Airport bound for Bishop Airport in Inyo County, California.  As N690TB approached the Bishop area, the pilot told Oakland Center that he had the lights of town in sight. At 1:23 A.M. as the pilot prepared to land, the aircraft crashed onto the flat desert south of Bishop Airport killing all four persons on board.  The wreckage was scattered over 600í, and there was no post impact fire. Among those killed in the accident were the famed photographer Galen Rowell and his wife Barbara.


A memorial cross, surrounded by micro debris from the Aero Commander 690A, marks the final impact point. In Loving Memory, and the pilotís name Thomas Frank Reid is inscribed on the cross. (G.P. Macha photo)

A metal pole marks an initial impact point of the Aero Commander 690A. Plexiglas, fiberglass, and small metal parts were observed in this area. (G.P. Macha photo)

Assorted parts from the ill-fated 690A including wiring, chromate painted interior parts, and other items associated with cockpit and cabin interior. (G.P. Macha photo)

Fragment of cockpit placard with trim tab and nose landing light on it. (G.P. Macha photo)


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