Crash Site, September 2006
crash site is a few miles northeast of Holdenville.† From I-40, take exit 217 and travel 24 miles
south on OK-48.† Turn west on US-270 and
travel 4 miles to
This trip was all about closure, so traveling to the crash site seemed like a good idea.† It was a beautiful day and the feelings of loss had long since been replaced by the joy of remembering the great times I had with my father.
After turning on the dirt road off of Yeager, this is the view looking north toward the crash site.† The resolution of the picture is too low to see the wreckage, which is in the left center of the picture near the last large tree on the left.† One can imagine why it took a month to locate this wreckage even though it was very near where the plane disappeared from the radar.
Below is the view looking at the plane toward the northwest.† The initial impact was behind the picture and the plane traveled toward the northwest and impacted the tree on the right in the picture.† The right wing came to rest to the right of the tree and the left wing was on the left side.
Below is the main part of the structure.† The fire consumed most of the plane except for the metal parts and a few pieces of fabric which did not burn completely.† The white tank below is the planeís parachute which was designed to allow the plane to float safely to the ground.† However, it was not deployed.† Dad was flying low beneath the clouds and the crash site suggests that he probably lost control of the plane in a low level stall.
Below is the structure from the right wing on the northeast side of the tree.
Below is the structure of the left wing on the west side of the tree.
Below is a close up of the transponder box that allowed the air traffic control radar to track his progress within a short distance of the crash.† Dad didnít have the altitude encoding working yet, so the aircraft altitude was not being transmitted to the radar.† However, there were low clouds in the area at the time and he would have been staying underneath them.
didnít suffer as he would have died instantly.†
Very little was recovered, enough to make an identification with dental
records. The serial number on the engine confirmed the identity of the
aircraft.† The coroner from
seeing these sad pictures, I thought it would be good to end on a happy
one.† Below is a picture of me and Dad in
front of a Cessna 172 that we rented in March 1988 to fly together.† The location was