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Mtflyer

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 #1 

A couple of weeks ago I drove out to an area near Blythe to search for the crash site of the Douglas A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148474 that crashed on April 23, 1969. This one been on my list for a while, but I only had a vague idea of its location from a single newspaper article. While researching another accident, I stumbled across some information that narrowed down the location enabling me to find the site. Photos of the site are HERE

 

 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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colsonj8

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 #2 
Very nice photos Joe. I would like to get out to SoCal and check out one of the desert wrecks sometime.

Mtflyer

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 #3 

Colson, the Mojave Desert definitely has a lot of sites, most of the ones on the open flat areas have been reduced to micro sites, but they are still interesting to visit.

 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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Dennis

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 #4 
Joe, great find.  Amazing how much is there given it's open location.  Interesting how research for one hunt can lead to another one.  Dennis
Brad

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 #5 
Nice site Joe, surprised there is that much left when its in the flats.
Brad
WaltW

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 #6 
It's remoteness protects it.  There are some other photos of this site online but the guy thinks it's something else and his online coords for it are miles off from where it really is.  It's also miles off from the media reports of the accident.  Nice pics.  I know I'll never get out there given it's way out of my scope but it's decently visible on GE (if you know exactly where to look of course) so I have it marked anyway.
Mtflyer

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 #7 

Thanks Dennis and Brad.

Being so far from the highway and in a little traveled area kept it fairly safe from being taken away for scrap.

 

Walt, sounds like I found that same site you described. I could tell by the his photos that it wasn't what he thought it was, but took me a little while to figure out it was an A-4. The only A-4 site that I could come up with in that area was #148474. The newspaper article I had has it in the right direction, but the mileage was off. Was able to find the site by using his photos. Took some driving, like you said his location was off. There was twice as much wreckage as he showed in his photos, don't think they looked beyond the main area.

 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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WaltW

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 #8 
Joe, that's it exactly. Since it's way out of my scope I didn't confirm type or tie it to an event though. Thanks for the ID.
skyraider0609

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 #9 
Joe,

Did Lt Tharp eject out of his aircraft? Do you know any of the details on his death? Another nice find by you. Thanks.

Pete 
Brad

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 #10 
Joe,
Not sure if you are interested, but here is a photo of his headstone.
BradTharp headstone.jpg 

TreyB

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 #11 
Very familiar with this crash; excellent crash site; been in touch with the family. A lot has been salvaged but quite a bit remains. Lt Tharp was flying with his instructor when he experienced a flame-out. After unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine, the instructor advised him to eject. When he tried to eject, only the canopy jettisoned; the seat remained intact. He pulled the handle but the seat did not eject. As he was quickly losing altitude, he felt he could ride the jet in and do a wheels-up landing. He picked a wide-open, flat stretch of desert and touched the plane down. The jarring of the impact shook something up in the egress system and the seat then ejected! Of course, the seat did not go high enough for the chute to deploy, so he tragically fell to his death.
Trey
http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com

Mtflyer

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 #12 

Brad, thanks for the photo, adding it to my records.

 

Trey, I thought it was a spin accident due to lack of impact crater the damage to the pieces. A controlled belly landing would explain why the wreckage was scattered for over a 1000 feet. I'll update my info with your facts, thanks.

 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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Thumper

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 #13 
Hi guys, my name is Steve Tharp the younger brother of Gray (the deceased pilot) of this crash. I had no idea this crash site still existed. Coordinates? Would very much like to visit the site. Thanks
Mtflyer

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 #14 
Steve, email sent.
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Joe Idoni

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DaveTrojan

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 #15 
I'm willing to help escort family member to crash site if needed. 
Please keep me informed about this site.
DaveT
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