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10tweaker

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 #16 
A-7s can glide? Wow!  I thought those things were like F-4s--glide path of a greased brick!  LOL

Jim
MikeLyons

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 #17 

I guess it had enough go-go juice to get across the fat end of Nevada and most of the way through Utah!  The "mostly intact" verbage came from a newspaper article so I wonder if it means that it was a heap recognizable as an aircraft rather than a pile of confetti.

DesertChaser

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 #18 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeLyons
There is also a Navy A-7 in that area...

That jogs my memory.  On our trip through Lockhart Basin someone had a guide book that stated the wreck visible from ther trail was a Navy plane.

AnthonyMireles

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 #19 
I did get the AF Accident Report for T-33A # 50-374, which crashed on 6 September 1952 about 17 miles SSW of Moab, Utah, from Craig F. at AAIR.  Thanks Craig. 

I first read about this wreck some years back in the popular 4x4 guide book "Canyon Country Off Road Vehicle Trails--Canyon Rims & Needles Area" by F.A. Barnes.  He described a "battered tail assembly of a U.S. Air Force airplane once stood beside the trail..."  I had looked for it once but had failed to locate the T-33. 

The accident report states that the airplane took off from Larson AFB, Washington, on a flight to Biggs Field, Texas, via Hill AFB, Ogden, Utah.  The airplane was flying at about 35,000 feet when the front cockpit pilot, 1Lt. Donald Wingert, began experiencing hypoxia.  The instructor pilot flying in the rear cockpit, 1Lt. David J. Harsh, dove the airplane down to about 23,000 feet and Lt. Wingert began to get back to normal.  Lt. Harsh traded cockpits with Lt. Wingert after they landed at Hill AFB.  The airplane took off from Hill AFB, headed Southeast and climbed back to 35,000 feet for the leg to Biggs Field.  Wingert, now in the front cockpit, again began to experience hypoxia.  Lt. Harsh dove the airplane to 20,000 feet and Lt. Wingert began to feel better and return to normal.  At about 1310 (Mountian) Lt. Harsh began to climb the airplane back up to altitude when he heard a "rumbling" noise and felt a vibration.  The engine then flamed out.  Lt. Harsh tried three in-flight engine starts.  The last one was a "manual" starting attempt.  Apparently the turbine wheel had exited the aircraft and had seriously weakened the tail assembly.  The second air start apparently started a fire in the tail section.  The tail section failed completely and seperated from the aircraft after the third air start attempt.  The airplane, minus its tail assembly, went out of control and spun wildly to earth.  Lt. Harsh attempted to jettison the canopy.  After a couple tries, the canopy would not release; he called to Lt. Wingert to help him jettison the canopy and apparently the canopy released when Wingert pulled on the canopy handle. Since the airplane was not equipped with ejection seats, Lt. Harsh was hurled from the cockpit by the extreme forces of the spinning airplane.  After he was hurled free of the airplane, Lt. Harsh noticed that the tail section of the airplane was on fire.   Lt. Harsh's parachute deployed about 1,000 feet above the terrain.  He steered his parachute to avoid landing in the burning debris field of the crashed airplane.  Lt. Harsh parachuted to the Canyon floor about 17 miles SSW of Moab, Utah.  He had a seriously twisted ankle that prevented him from walking.  Lt. Harsh spent the night under a rock overhang near the wreckage.  The next morning, Lt. Harsh was able to splint his ankle and began walking.  Lt. Harsh found water in a small stream and began to drink.  A short time later, a C-47 circled overhead and spotted him.  After a little while, he encountered two AF paramedics who had parachuted into the canyon for rescue.  A small airplane was landed in the canyon and the pilot was evacuated to Moab and then to Hill AFB.  Lt. Harsh was finally evacuated from the canyon about 27 hours after bail out.  Lt. Wingert's body was found near the wreckage.  His parachute had not opened in time and he fell to his death.  His parachute pack burst upon impact with the canyon floor. Investigators speculated that Lt. Wingert's oxygen problems stemmed from an ill-fitting oxygen mask. 

The engine failure and in-flight break up was caused by a failed main rear bearing in the jet engine.  The turbine wheel failed and seperated from the aircraft, cutting clean through the tail section.  The compromised tail section was further weakened by a fire in the tail section caused by the attempted air start.  Interestingly, the AF Accident Report states that the tail section of the airplane could not be located at the time of the investigation.  By looking at the map and photos in the Accident Report, I reckon that the main debris field for this airplane is near the Lockhart Canyon Trail about 2 or 3 miles west or WSW of the tail section found near Lockhart Basin Trail or roughly 2 or 3 miles north of the Lockhart Overlook, which is near the Needles Overlook.  I could be wrong but it is my guess that previously spotted wreckage above and north of the Lockhart Basin Trail where the tail section was found is probably not associated with this airplane since the subject airplane was flying to the southeast and the heavier parts all apparently landed two or three miles WSW of the tail section.  Perhaps the previously spotted wreckage were pieces of the shattered tail section that were removed over time for one reason or another.  The AF Accident Report indicates that a lot of the wreckage was left in place because of the remoteness of the crash site.  I reckon I'll have to go back some day and see if I can find the rest of it.  Thanks to all who helped me with this.  Tony Mireles 

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

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 #20 
I was out bicycling and checked out the tail section on 10/13/07. Also found many twisted and mangled metal parts down in the slick rock canyon below the tail. Most of the metal was painted white with a rubber coating on the inside. There are some round metal flanges with many sheared bolt holes. Also a few aluminum cast parts. We figured this must be a jet engine, but were confused by the abundance of rubber coated steel parts and the absence of any turbine fins.
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AnthonyMireles

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 #21 
Chris,

Looking forward to going back there and finding the rest of the airplane wreckage.  Can you post any photos of the wreckage you have found?  Thanks. 

TonyM. 

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Anthony J. Mireles
FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
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AnthonyMireles

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 #22 

After the Aviation Archaeology Summit in Colorado, I drove to Utah to see if I could find the other half of this airplane.  The accident report provides the exact location of where the other half of the airplane crashed to earth and also offers an excellent map of the debris field, which is located in a washed out area just a short distance southeast of the tail section and very close to ( and east of) the Lockhart Basin Trail. 

The map and illustrations in the AF accident report show a very prominent geological feature near the wreckage and debris field, leaving no doubt in my mind that I was in the right place.  There were no large pieces of wreckage in the debris field as illustrated by the AF maps.  The report shows the canopy, the engine, landing gear and other large pieces that were left over from the crash.  The engine was removed by the AF for examination.   

The engine was removed by the Air Force at the time of the accident; the turbine fins failed and seperated at over 20,000 feet and this failure caused the tail section to seperate.  So it is no surprise that cjohnson did not find any turbine fins.  Additionally, I dont think that the T-33 in question was painted white, but was probably natural metal (judging by photos of similar aircraft during the early 1950s).  The tail section wreckage indicates to me that the airplane was a natural metal finish when it crashed. 

I searched the area indicated on the maps provided by the AF and was unable to find any large wreckage or even a micro site.  The area indicated by the AF report is a heavily washed out area southeast of the tail seciton.  The crash area is located between the road and a very deep wash/canyon.  The area in between the deep wash and the road is heavily criss crossed by smaller washes and it was evident that a large amount of water had run off in the area just recently.

  Because of weather concerns, I was unable to search the area south and west of the tail section to find the pieces described by cjohnson.  The wreck site photos I had Chris Baird post on this thread three years ago show this area to the south.  Since cjohnson describes the "white" wreckage as being in the area "below" the tail section I was unable to ascertain what area he was talking about; he offers no distance or direction from the tail section and the tail section is located on low ground already (see photo #1 in post #11), so I was unable to really pin point the area he was talking about.  There is a slick rock area west of the tail section but it seems to be way too far away from the airplane's actual flight path. Although the tail section has white paint on the top of the vertical fin, I don't believe that the airplane was painted white over all.  So these pieces are puzzling.  I won't be able to confirm or discount these pieces until I take a look at them. 

Thanks to Craig Fuller for his help on this and also thanks to my wife Caroline who did the google earth research and pin pointed the actual wreck site/debris field. 

TonyM. 


The area searched this April can be seen in the third photo on post #11; That photo is looking to the southeast. 


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Anthony J. Mireles
FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
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dspanogle

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 #23 
On 4/12/2010 we located wreckage of what I think is the main portion of the Canyon Lands T-33.  What is left of the engine after the removal of the turbine section is in the canyon just over the ridge in the first photo (40-60 yards east of main wreckage.). After 55 years, some smaller items have washed down the ravines.





 

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: T33_looking_East.jpg, Views: 351, Size: 208.46 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: T33_looking_NNE.jpg, Views: 401, Size: 206.64 KB 

AnthonyMireles

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 #24 

Thanks for posting this. 

I sent you an e-mail.


Wow, I was probably about a quarter mile off.  But a quarter mile out there is a rough and uneven quarter mile.  This has happened before.  Live and learn. 

TonyM


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Anthony J. Mireles
FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES 1941-1945
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moabyj

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 #25 
Does anyone know the correct coordinates for the Crash sites?
 
If so can you email me at moabyj@yahoo.com
thanks!
Blackie

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 #26 
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WingFlow

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 #27 
http://koreanwarmemorial.sd.gov/SearchEngineForm/profiles/228.htm

A link to the Pilot who flew this T33
WingFlow

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 #28 
Oh how I would love to recover the tail section as this is the plane my uncle was flying. 
WingFlow

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 #29 
Any more information on this T33 would be greatly appreciated. I especially liked the footage from the ""Canistota Clipper"" F80 flying missions in Korea from this Pilots nose camera.
sigalution

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 #30 
I checked this out over the weekend, GPS led straight there.  
Some parts are beginning to get covered by runoff but the majority is still visible, including landing gear and small GE motors.  
I won't claim to know anything about planes, but it was an adventure to discover and now to get the story. 
I found some sections that appeared to have green paint on them, but I'm not sure which part they were.  

Thanks for all your posts and especially the info on the pilots. 
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