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AnthonyMireles

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 #1 
Looking for any information concerning the T-33 airplane wreck at Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Utah (just east of Canyonlands National Park).  A popular 4W trail guide describes the wreck as a "tail section" near the Lockhart Basin Trail.  I traveled this trail some years back but could not find this T-33 tail section.  Nick's book describes the wreck to be at N38 degrees 20'/W109 degrees 39'.  I camped out at N38 degrees 05' 40"/W109 degrees 36' 39", so I was right near the supposed wreck site.  I could not find this T-33 Tail section.  Does anybody know about the T-33 tail section on or near Lockhart Basin Trail, Canyon Rims Recreation Area/Canyonlands NP, Utah?  Does anybody know the date of the crash?  The pilot's name?  The airplane serial number and type?  I am going back to 4WD at Canyonlands next month.  Any help greatly appreciated.  Thanks. 
Tony Mireles

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MikeLyons

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 #2 

Tony, I have seen those same coords on a 1965 CAP list.  I have not been able to find any other info regarding that accident. I guess that makes it a pre-1965 accident.  Not much help but that's what I have.  Good luck! and keep the rubber side down while you are down there.

DesertChaser

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 #3 

I've seen that tailpiece wreckage from the Lockhart Basin Trail but have no idea about coords.   Very obvious though, especially with the sun on it.

AnthonyMireles

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I'll keep an eye out for it.  Last time I was there, I did not have the co-ords.  I only knew that it was supposed to be there somewhere.  I was still new to wreckchasing too.  The 4WD trail book says that it is right out in the open too.  So I didn't go far enough or I was watching where I was driving or something, but I missed it.   I am going back so I hope it is still there.  I'll try again and let you know.  TM.


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Anthony J. Mireles
FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
http://www.warbirdcrash.com
DesertChaser

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 #5 
Tony,

IIRC the tail is visible hanging on the cliff just below the rim.  The group I was with took two days to run that trail from Canyonlands to Moab and I think we saw the trail early on the second day, so it would be "roughly" half way.
AnthonyMireles

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 #6 
I found the Canyon Rims T-33 on May 23, 2007. 

The tail section was found a couple hundred yards below the Lockhart Basin Trail near where it switches back and begins to climb the canyon wall about 16.5 miles SSW of Moab, Utah.  The severed tail section is easy to pass up if a guy does not look down from the trail at the right time.  Rather than let this happen again, we got out and searched the area on foot and kept looking until we found it.  The tail section cannot be seen from any other part of the trail.  A brief search of the area revealed no other obvious wreckage. 

The tail section consists of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers but no control surfaces.  The words "U.S. Air Force" can be found on both sides of the piece.  The number "0374" can also be found on both sides of the vertical stabilizer.  The paint was very faded out.  Will post photographs soon. 

Craig Fuller of AAIR suggested that it could be T-33 # 50-374. 

Any help identifying this wreck is greatly appreciated.

Tony Mireles

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AnthonyMireles

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 #7 
Craig Fuller of AAIR has just sent me information indicating that the aircraft wreck site on the Lockhart Basin Trail is T-33A # 50-374, which crashed on September 6, 1952.  One fatal, one rescued.  Engine failure and turbine departure.  Thanks Craig. 

Also thanks to Mike Lyons, who has also sent me information concerning this wreck. 

Tony Mireles

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FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
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10tweaker

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 #8 
Turbine failure--IIRC, that was fairly common in the P/F-80 and T-33 series wasn't it?  I think that is what was responsible for the crashes that claimed Bong as well as McQuire--right?

Good job on finding that.

Jim
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 #9 
  Bong was lost when the drive to the aircraft's fuel pump sheared and he was not familiar enough with the cockpit to switch to the auxiliary pump. He decided to leave the aircraft but, was to low. Tony LeVier's near death experience in the XP-80A was a good example of early turbine wheel disintegration.(http://www.thexhunters.com/xpeditions/xp-80a_accident.html)
                                      Tony


  Tony, great find!

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AnthonyMireles

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 #10 
More on Bong:

     A detailed summary of the Major Richard Bong P-80 crash can be found on page 1150 of Volume III of FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1941-1945.  "Because of a shortage of fuel pumps, the original General Electric fuel governor was taken from [P-80A #44-85048] and re-installed on another airplane.  The fuel governor was eventually replaced with an earlier version of the General Electric fuel governor that had been rejected by engineers at Allison, the manufacturer of the Allison J-33 jet engine, because of [the earlier fuel pump's] tendency to 'dump too easily and had a habit of sticking in the by-pass position.'"  The Aircraft Accident Classification Committee stated: [It] was Major Bong's practice to obtain take-off rpm of 11,500 before releasing brakes for take-off run, and that he made no throttle reduction until well airborne, thus depending fully on the [main fuel] governor.  Due to ram effect, lag in governor action, and slight variations in adjustment, a considerable increase in rpm will take place, as much as 500 rpm.  Then when the governor catches up it will by-pass considerable fuel.  Should it then stick in the by-pass position as the [rejected fuel governor] has been known to do, it would starve the normal fuel system.  Major Bong had admitted neglecting to use the I-16 emergency fuel pump on several flights."  Investigators noted that Major Bong had logged only four hours in P-80 type airplanes. 

     Chuck Yeager addresses this accident in his usual frank manner.  See page 180 of Yeager's famous book: YEAGER--An Autobiography by General Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos.  (Bantam 1985)

Tony Mireles

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FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
http://www.warbirdcrash.com
ChrisBaird

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 #11 
Tony Mireles asked me to post these photos of the wreck of T-33A s/n 50-374 in Canyonlands, Utah because his scanner is kaput.

Tony found this wreck site about a week ago and took these pictures.

First photo (with the arrow) is labeled "Looking from Lockhard Basin Trail".   The second shot is of Tony holding the tail up.  The others are self-explanatory.

Beautiful country to go wreck hunting in!


Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: Looking_from_Lockhart_Basin_Trial_T-33A_sn_50-374.jpg, Views: 388, Size: 517.91 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: T-33_a.JPG, Views: 407, Size: 559.78 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: T-33_c.jpg, Views: 348, Size: 416.77 KB 

DesertChaser

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 #12 

Is there another peice of this wreck high up on a mesa rim?  I remember seeing it from the LB trail.  Or is there another wreck there?

AnthonyMireles

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 #13 

There very well could be wreckage up above the trail, but we could not see it.  We looked around briefly in the limited time we were at the site, but we could not find any other wreckage near where we found the tail section.  We did find the tail section while on foot.  The photo with the arrow was taken from Lockhart Basin Trail, looking down from the road.  The total lack of wreckage near the tail section suggests that it probably had fallen there after the airplane struck above the trail.  Now that we know the serial number and the date of the accident we can find out what happened--I am ordering the report from Craig F.  I wish I could go back there next weekend and look around some more, but I had to come home and go back to work.  Tony M. 


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Anthony J. Mireles
FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
http://www.warbirdcrash.com
XHunter

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 #14 
  Awesome find, it looks just like wreckage of the XP-80A's tail section sitting on the trailer in the photo below. The main crash site can't be to far from the tail section but, I'll bet the remains of the turbine wheel are a good distance away. Man, when those engines came apart they must have just sawed the whole back end off in one clean motion.

                                              Tony

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: XP-80_tail.jpg, Views: 111, Size: 42.55 KB 

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MikeLyons

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 #15 
There are at least 3 GA aircraft in the same general vicinity. Could have seen one of those as well.

Although two are definitely in canyons.... Who knows?

There is also a Navy A-7 in that area that I am trying to get more data on.  Interesting story.... The pilot accidentally ejected over Fallon, NV and the aircraft went into altitude hold and continued on until radar lost it in the shadow of the Oquirrah Mts. near Provo, UT.  Wasn't found for months until some hunters found the mostly intact, fuel exhausted wreck in the Arches NP area.
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