Wreckchasing Message Board
Sign up  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 6 of 11     «   Prev   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   Next   »
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #76 
Looking at the maps again tonight and reconciling them with the Norwood & Anderson accounts as well as the account of James Lawrence, an off-duty Montgomery County Police officer, I came to a startling conclusion:   The crew was close to pulling off a successful forced landing.  The plane had come out of its spin facing southbound, basically running parallel to the line of houses.   About 150 - 200 yards to the south, there was an open field.   The starboard wing snagged a tree, which put the plane into a nose-down attitude and slewed the plane 45 degrees to starboard.   This would seem to be confirmed by the left wing being torn off, while the starboard wing remained intact as if it was "whipped around".   

The eerie coincidence is how this is very similar to the Don Gentile crash:  If they only had just a bit more altitude, they would have cleared the trees and made the open field for a successful forced landing.  It would have been cited as an example of outstanding pilotage as opposed to a tragic accident.   I know that I've pushed the "self sacrifice" angle before.  I don't think that is the case,  but the evidence is starting to mount that there was more going on in the cockpit in those final moments than a "Freeze up" on part of the trainee pilot.
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #77 
Update 1/6/14:

Amazingly, the Park Historians agreed to my suggestion.   When the concrete footer of the outbuilding gets torn up, they will allow me to search the site for any artifacts before the contractor backfills the hole.   It's going to happen fairly soon.   The demolition crews were dispatched to the house today.  The bitter cold may throw their schedule off.   I know they have to take both structures down before they remove the concrete footers, the foundation and the driveway.  

I've discovered that I can go months without any kind of update, and then suddenly the skies just open up and things start hitting me left and right.   I've been pursuing this for about 18 months now, and it's simply astonishing how much info I've acquired....and how much there still is out there waiting to be uncovered.

Edit:  Also for Russ Farris - it was a '47 Studebaker that was crushed.   Some reports have the car as a Nash.   The Andersons had a second car - a 1956 Oldsmobile, that suffered a broken rear window, but little other damage.   Mr. Norwood indicated that Anderson was debating which car to duck behind, the Studie or the Olds.   He picked the Olds.   It turned out that was the correct decision.  Taking cover under the Studebaker would have killed him. 
SixbyFire

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 435
 #78 

Wow, great news! Can't wait to see what you can find.

Jeff

DaveTrojan

Avatar / Picture

Moderators
Registered:
Posts: 2,533
 #79 
Know any artists?
Consider having an artists conception drawing of the final moments of the flight.
It would make a nice display
DaveT  
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #80 
Interesting concept with the Artists rendering...certainly something to consider.    I guess everything comes down to how much budget the Commission is willing to devote to this.   I'd say there is a decent chance I may be able to get funding in FY2015, which starts July 1 of this year.    It certainly fits into bigger picture of preserving various historic sites within the park itself.
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #81 
Mr. Norwood sent me a couple of pictures that he had taken shortly after the crash.   To the best of my knowledge, these have never been displayed publicly before.     These were taken with your standard "brownie" camera using 127 black & white film.

From this angle, the left main wheel is clearly seen.   Also, people in the background in shirt sleeves.   This was likely taken shortly after the crash.

Norwood 3 by onyxsax, on Flickr

We've seen other pictures taken from this angle by news photographers.   The line of trees marked the separation between the Anderson and Norwood properties:

Norwood 3 by onyxsax, on Flickr

A blurry photo of the youngest of the Norwood siblings (I think).   What is notable about this picture is the piece of debris caught between the "V" of the tree to the right.   This is an outlier from the rest of the debris field.  To me it looks like a piece physical evidence that Norwood's account is correct, that the plane had leveled out, but caught a tree which pitched it nose down and slewed it into the position that it ended up.

Norwood 4 by onyxsax, on Flickr

The fact that these pictures were taken with a consumer grade camera versus a news photo makes them just that much more haunting to look at.
Air2air

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 284
 #82 
Absolutely the finest writeup I ever read here, so good I logged in just to post this after a 5 year hiatus.

Well done indeed SaxMan.  What a credit to the hobby and to historians everywhere.
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #83 
Wow.  Thank you very much for the complement.   I've been governed by one principle...to answer the question "How far can I take this project?".    The answer so far seems to be "However far you want to go with it".   I've only hit a couple of dead-ends, mostly in trying to locate anyone associated with Robert Thomas, one of the trainee pilots killed.   There are several other doors that this project has opened that are also deserving of research, Podgurski's World War II service, which was quite remarkable, in particular. 

News Flash:  I just received word that the demolition crews are pulling the concrete pad under the outbuilding that was erected over the P.I. tomorrow morning.  I am planning on heading out to the site and see if their excavators uncover anything before the area gets backfilled (and becomes off limits).   I'm also hoping that I will get funding for memorial in FY2015, which starts July 1 of this year.   So far, everyone seems to be on board.  The big question is what kind of memorial will be erected, whether it is a simple marker or something a bit more elaborate. 

SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #84 
1/15/14 Update:

Ugh.  The demolition contractor is not going to the site today.   It's postponed until tomorrow.  I don't know why...weather looks fine.   The anticipation is killing me!   My mind races with all kinds of possibilities:  Did Capital just backfill the impact crater and are there significant pieces left?   Or maybe someone from Capital intentionally left something behind to be discovered in the future...or maybe they sanitized the site as best as they could and there are just small bits of metal?    I have one shot to find out.   Stay tuned.  
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #85 
1/16/14:   Went out to the site this AM to watch the demolition contractor pull up the pad.  At first, it was disappointing as the pad was very thin and wasn't taking any soil with it.   However, the backhoe operator obliged us by excavating the impact point down 3 to 4 feet and then made a nice pile of what he pulled up in his bucket for us to sift through.  This was clearly above and beyond what he had to do.   The results:  We DID recover a handful of artifacts.   I'll post pictures either later tonight or tomorrow.   It did confirm two things:  1) Capital Airlines did do a thorough job clearing the site after the crash and 2) No matter how thorough the cleaning, something always gets left behind.   We were able to recover these items without the benefit of a metal detector...just a simple rake going through the piles of dirt.    

More details to come.
Brad

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 342
 #86 
Congrats on the find.
Brad
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #87 
Pictures from today:

The house is gone!   It definitely made "getting my bearings" a bit tougher, since I was using the house a reference point

DSC_0004 by onyxsax, on Flickr

The excavator begins pulling up the pad.

DSC_0005 by onyxsax, on Flickr

As you can see, the pad was very thin and no topsoil came up with it.

DSC_0011 by onyxsax, on Flickr

Our first find.   I don't think this is related, even though it was at the same level of the wreckage.   It was very lightweight brass.  

DSC_0013 by onyxsax, on Flickr

Our first "real" find.  This is definitely aircraft aluminum.  It is curved on one end.   Can't really figure out what it is until it gets cleaned up a bit

DSC_0018 by onyxsax, on Flickr

The excavator operator upon learning about what we were looking for dug deep into the area where the impact crater was:

DSC_0020 by onyxsax, on Flickr
SaxMan

Registered:
Posts: 267
 #88 
Another find.  This was also aluminum, gloss black in color and seemed fairly dense.   I'm not certain what this is.  I thought it may be part of the anti-glare panel, but the finish is too glossy for that.

DSC_0023 by onyxsax, on Flickr

Some kind of belt.   This very well could have been from the smashed Studebaker, too.

DSC_0028 by onyxsax, on Flickr

Metal rod.  It was fairly dense.  I believe this is part of the flight control system that actually moves the flaps or ailerons.   White paint would be consistent with it being part of the plane.

DSC_0029 by onyxsax, on Flickr

A "Then and Now" photo.   Not perfectly lined up, but close.

DSC_0037 by onyxsax, on Flickr

Washer or fitting of some kind:

DSC_0047 by onyxsax, on Flickr

A second one of the rods was also recovered.

DSC_0048 by onyxsax, on Flickr

The items were taken to the M-NCPPC's Archaeology Office for cleaning and further examination.  

knighthawk

Registered:
Posts: 19
 #89 
This is what AVIATION ARCHAEOLOGY is all about. Great finds and reporting of same. Keep history alive!
SixbyFire

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 435
 #90 

Looks good! Hopefully some of the pieces will be able to be positively ID'd as to where they came from.

Jeff

Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.