Abandoned Plane Wrecks of the (Arctic) North
«USA (ALASKA)»

The Arctic North (northern parts of Canada and Alaska) is a cruel environment for men and machine; for planes it is no different. The weather creates all sorts of hazards, the terrain offers its own variety of opportunities for disaster.
Men are prone to make mistakes and machines are bound to fail at some point. Here are some of the results. I hope we can establish the identities and the locations of these planes, help will be welcomed.

PAGE 1 (CANADA) | PAGE 2 (CANADA) | PAGE 3 (USA, ALASKA)

 

While browsing my database (16Nov16) for random updates I came across an update for a Douglas DC-3 (C-47D 43-49403, c/n 26664/15219) wreck near Gustavus, Glacier Bay in Alaska.
C-47 wreck at Gustavus, Glacier Bay, Alaska

The plane crash was on the 23Nov1957, four people died, seven survived.
The photos included following information:'Location: Gustavus,Glacier Bay,Alaska,USA' and 'Date taken: 9th July 2011'.
Link (for images for sale): www.alamy.com/stock-photo-1957-dc-3-plane-crash-gustavus-glacier-bay-alaska-usa-41261601.html

Crash report on Aviation Safety Network.

C-47 wreck at Gustavus, Glacier Bay, Alaska

More details on www.gustavushistory.org/articles/

 

 

Cessna T50 near Ft Yukon, wreckage

Dietmar wrote me in Sept.2012:
"One plane you might want to include is this unidentified Cessna T50 'Bamboo Bomber', near Fort Yukon (north of Fairbanks,AK).
The plane is too small for the ASN database, but what I learned from a pilot out of Fairbanks is this:
'The story I heard about the Bamboo Bomber was that there were two aboard and they made a forced landing when they ran out of gas in the 1960's. It was winter and they weren't injured, so they just walked to Ft. Yukon across the frozen river. I haven't found anyone who can confirm that, except one other pilot who just said there were
no injuries
'.

I am working on photo-series called 'happy end' - abandoned airplanes where all survived the forced landings and were rescued from the remote location. The focus is how these beautiful airplanes (with amazing stories) now rest in vast and beautiful landscapes."
Dietmar Eckell
www.dietmareckell.com CHECK OUT DIETMAR'S BRILLIANT PHOTOGRAPHY !

"A possible candidate for this airplane is c/n 3799/N58558 (ex UC-78, USAAF 42-58308). It was sold to Hawley Evans, dba Fairbanks Air Service, Fairbanks, AK, 31Mar54, and later modified with a right-side oversize cargo door and emergency window exit. Its last recorded annual inspection was 22-5-61.
It was reported 'burned completely and will not be rebuilt, 20May65'.
Its registration was cancelled 21May65.
The aircraft in the photo does not appear to have burned, but this is the only T-50 I have recorded whose history coincides with that of the mystery aircraft. "
Michael McMurtrey (oct.2012)

 


N91016 at Unmak Island

Andreas Morgner wrote me this in Feb.2008 :
"Saw a possible new addition to your Wrecks of the North -section...
Adjacent to the small Unagan village of Nikolski on the southwest end of Unmak Island (way out on the Aleutian chain) is a gravel airstrip once owned and run by the USAF. Off to one side is an old DC-3 that used to belong to Reeve Aleutian Airways (tail number N91016) that had a little mishap in 1965 and has been there ever since!
Accident report: http://aviation-safety.net
The above photo is from 2004 which I found here: http://kiska.giseis.alaska.edu/Input/celso/okmok/photos/2004Okmok62.html (dead link by 2019)
Maybe someone else has a better photo of it?"


A few facts:
In February 1946, Bob Reeve received a call informing him that some ex USAAF C-47s and DC-3s were for sale. Reeve bought his first DC-3, N19906, for $20,000 with $3,000 down and the balance payable over 3 years. The cost of conversion to civilian standard was quoted at $50,000 but Reeve did the work himself at a cost of $5,000.
A strike by sailors on steamships operating between Seattle and Anchorage started on April 6 1946. Reeve, along with Merritt Boyle and Bill Borland began flying between Seattle and Anchorage, with stops at Juneau, Yakutat or Annette Island. Each trip carried a full load of 21 passengers and took and average of 9½ hours. In 53 days, 26 round trips were made.
In July 1946, DC-3 N91016 was purchased from the USAF. In the Winter of 1946/7, Reeve filed with the CAA for a licence to operate on the 1,783 miles (2,869 km) run between Anchorage and Attu, and in the summer of 1947 he was making weekly flights down the chain. Within a year, he was running a twice-weekly service, keeping all four DC-3s busy.
[Source Wikipedia ]

http://www.geocities.com/alaskanheritage/REEVEFLEET.html (dead link) - N91016 w/o Nikolski,AK 29May65

Wikipedia on Nikolski and Umnak Island

Michael Prophet made me aware of the fact thís DC-3 actually featured on the photo shown on the Wikipedia page:

Michael Prophet also stumbled on this photo in an Airways magazine (March 2008), at the end of the runway.
photo by Penn Air's Burke Mees:

 

N91012 Reeve Aleutian
Alexandre Avrane of ATDB.aero pointed me to www.panoramio.com/photo/2598135 (=dead link by 2020) for a better picture of DC-3 N91016...

 

DC-3 N91016 Reeve Aleutian at Nikolski Alaska
Michael Prophet spotted this August 2009 image of N91016 on a website dedicated to an adventurous and challenging boattrip, in the Arctic North, on www.sailaway.no (alas, the account is not in English).
Jan wrote: "Only two people on board: Katherine Maloney (American) and myself, Jan 
Fr. Mack (Norwegian). We came to the Aleuts from Japan, are presently still in Alaska and will start for Canada in a few weeks. And this is far from the only wrecked aircraft up here."
Photo © Jan Fr. Mack

And indeed another update from this remote location was sent to me by Knud Jorgensen in Feb.2014. He wrote: "Taken these pictures in august 2004, on a fish/hunt trip to Nikolski." Many thanks!

Reeve DC-3 at Nikolski

Note the wing is still in place here, compared to the image further above.
Reeve DC-3 at Nikolski

 

 

B-24 wreckage at Atka Island, Aleuts Jan Fr. Mack made me notice this WW2 B-24 bomber, the wreckage surviving at Atka Island (Aleuts), Alaska.

Jan wrote:
"The B24 is on Atka Island, one of the Aleuts, quite 
far to the west.
It is easily accessible if you come by boat. We know a crew that has been there, but unfortunately they have no blog."

 

Jason Streitmann wrote me in Nov.2011:
'The B-24's identity is: B-24D 40-2367, it force-landed at Bechevin Bay, Atka, Alaska on Dec 9, 1942. Assigned N58426 in 1984, with American Veterans Memorial Museum, CO, but not recovered.'
Source: www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1940.html
Note: see Joe Baugher's note on a second set of reassigned numbers, from 24As to 24Ds.

Jason included these links, providing more details on the story of the crashlanding, its preservation and the background of use of this type of airplane:
www.wreckchasing.com/atkab24.htm (dead, 2020)
www.nps.gov/nr/travel/aviation/atk.htm (dead 2020)
http://pacificislandparks.com/aleutians/
Also a video on YouTube of the crash site: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYjlOTV0ckU

 

Mike Criss likes hiking in remote areas. He lives in Wasilla and on his hikes he comes across quite a few crashsites. Here is one he would like to know more about...
Crash site Merrill Pass

He wrote::
"I found some wreckage from a C-46 or C-47 in Merrill Pass, Alaska. Tail number is 348069, see the photo.
No info found on it. I even contacted Joseph Baugher.
www.akphotograph.com/Alaska Photos/index.html (dead link by 2020)
I have several photos of the wreckage, radios, landing gear, engines and an entire wing.
Any information would be appreciated."

This website identifies it as a Douglas C-47, 43-48069. The crashdate was 21Apr52 but except'Alaska' that website offers no further details.

The website www.aerotransport.org has more details: 43-48069 is a C-47A-DK with msn/ manufacturer's serial number (aka construction number or c/n) 25330. It has a remark; 'ultimate fate obscured', well now we know..

The Air-Britain publication "DC-3, The First Seventy Years" has a detailed history-
C/n 25330 (reserialled from duplicated c/n 13885) was delivered with USAAF serial 43-48069 on 12Jul44. The book lists various units: 1 TC Baer 806 BU - Pope 349 TCG 30Jul44 - 812 BU 05Feb45 - CTC Pope 316 TCG 20Jun45 - ATS Davis Monthan 4105 BU 19Mar46 - AMC Van Nuys AMV CP 26Jan49 - NG Felts 116 FS 22Mar49 - Paine11O RCD 25May49 - Seattle-Paine 15Jul50 - ANG Seattle 110 RCD 21Sep50 - Portland 123 FS 07Nov50 - Seattle 110 RCD 25Dec50 - AMC Norton SBAMA 19May51 - AAC Elemendorf 110 RCD 06Nov51 - Accident 21Apr52 - Scrap 29May54"
No details about the crash itself or fatalities. The route via the Merrill Pass was well known even from the early days of the Alaska aviation pioneers. But this route has a reputation of the weather (visibilty & winds) turning on you, many time with a fatal outcome.
Russel 'Russ' Merrill was an early Alaskan aviation pioneer and he discovered this pass. Merrill disappeared in September 1929 on a flight to Bethel. The first aviation beacon in the Territory of Alaska was located at Merrill Field and was dedicated on September 25, 1932 to the honor of Russ Merrill. 

Scrap indeed...
Miek at the crashsite
Mike is a serious photographer, have a look at his website: www.akphotograph.com (dead link, 2020)

Kyle McNish sent me these photo in Nov.2020, after having suffered for years a lack of photo(s) to this issue!
Kyle wrote: "The local story here on the island is that the plane was flying in for fuel and it ran out before they could land...
Maybe due to miscalculation or a malfunction of some sort. Not confirmed for sure though."

DC-3 (EC-47Q 42-24304) wreck at Klawock, Prince of Wales Island


EC-47Q 42-24304 (c/n 10166); exif data on the photo shows 13Jul2019.
Allegedly it did not quite make it to Klawock, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (Alaska, USA)

DC-3 (EC-47Q 42-24304) wreck at Klawock, Prince of Wales Island
DC-3 wreck at Klawock, Prince of Wales Island; crashed during ferry flight via (a.o.) Seattle to Vietnam.

Kyle wrote: "Klawock is in Alaska on Prince of Wales Island. It is a part of SE Alaska, just above Vancouver and the Haida Gwaii islands, so it can easily be mistaken for Canadian land.
I've lived here on this island for over 20 years and that plane has always been talked about by the locals.
The plane broke the tail off when it crash landed in Big Salt, the name of the estuary.
This location is about a 10 min drive and a 20 min kayak ride from my house!
We just decided to go there for the first time last year, to get some pictures, and check it out. We were always told it was a WW2 plane that ran out of fuel circling in the fog, waiting to land."

DC-3 (EC-47Q 42-24304) wreck at Klawock, Prince of Wales Island

In Propliner magazine no.111 -Summer 2007- I had read about a Douglas EC-47 (42-24304) wreck surviving on Prince of Wales Island. The wreckage is located a little north of Klawock, visible on Google Earth.
It had made a forced landing here on 25Oct68.
See also http://archive.ec47.com/oct2568.htm (www.ec47.com or www.ec47.com/ec-47-serial-numbers-and-data)-
'Crashed in Alaska en route to SEA, 25 Oct 1968. No casualties.' INCORRECT!

Joe Baugher has on his website "24304 (msn 10166) delivered Sep 1943. No card. MAAAG Portugal 1956-1963. Converted to EC-47Q. Crew uninjured. Crash-landed on Prince of Wales Island, N of Klawock, Alaska Oct 25, 1968 while enroute to SEA. Crew uninjured. The wreck is still there."

But repairs at Prince of Wales Island is contradictory to the report on Aviation Safety Network (ASN)

Date: Friday 25 October 1968
Type:
Douglas EC-47Q
Operator: United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 42-24304
C/n / msn: 10166
First flight: 1943
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2000-4
Crew: Fatalities: / Occupants:
Passengers: Fatalities: / Occupants:
Total: Fatalities: / Occupants:
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location: Big Salt Lake, Prince of Wales Island, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: Unknown (UNK)
Nature: Military
Departure airport: ?
Destination airport: ?
Narrative:
Crashed during ferry flight to Vietnam.

In Air-Britain's magnificent DC-3 publication there is no mention of that second crash and c/n 10166 has its ending at Prince of Wales Island in Alaska:
C/n 10166 42-24304

Here is proof by Google Earth it is still there in the Big Salt estuary (GE 11-2020)...
C-47 location crash site Prince of Wales Island
The airport visible is Klawock Airport on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.
My theory, by location and position, is that C-47 42-24304 may have overshot Seattle (if that was its destination)
and ran out of fuel trying to make it to Klawock airport, which is quite a bit north of Seattle,WA.
Note- I was told the GE image dated back to 2003, but if it survived 1968-2003, as the phots of 2019 show!

 

N103 at Venetie,AK Sean Keating made me aware of this wreck, he wrote:
"I found this on Google Images…. by typing in 'dc-4' it was on the first page… (property of www.warbelows.com, image direct link found dead in june2015: www.warbelows.com/images/Village Pictures/Venetie/VEE DC4 Wreck.jpg)
This may be good to display on your "abandoned plane wrecks of the north".
I have no idea if the Carvair picture is recent or not, maybe they can tell you."

The story of the crash of N103 (ATL-98 conversion no.7, ex DC-4 cn10273) can be found on Aviation-Safety Network :
(28Jun97) The Carvair took off from Venetie for a VFR positioning flight to Fairbanks. The aircraft was climbing when the number two engine on the left wing began to run rough. Soon thereafter, a fire warning light for the same engine illuminated in the cockpit. Fire was visually confirmed, the engine was shut down, and both banks of fire bottles were discharged. The fire continued to burn, and the number two engine fell off the wing. The captain was forced to carry out an emergency landing on a sand and gravel bar in the Chandalar River.

Andreas forwarded me this link: www.dced.state.ak.us/dca/commdb/images/Venetie_planecrash.jpg (also found 'dead' in june 2015) which shows the following image:
N103 Carvair

If the photographer makes himself known I would be happy to include proper credit to the photographer here.

Rob Tracz sent me photos of N103 in better days, click here

 

Andreas Morgner sent me the link to Google Maps, to further facilitate travellers...
Here are the coördinates: 67°1'16"N 146°31'55"W

N103

Andreas sent me this image in june 2015; he wrote:
"I found this pic of the old Carvair wreck by Venetie, AK. Looks like it was taken circa 2003.
Source: www.angelfire.com/de/kanualaska/markusheiko.html

N103 Carvair wreck at Venetie,AK

Casey Lasota wrote me in August 2019: "28Jul2018 took a pic of the Venetie crash. Enjoy and cheers!"
N103 Carvarir wreck in Alaska by Casey Lasota (2019)
ATL-98 Carvair N103, conversion no.7, ex DC-4 c/n 10273 - Photo by Casey Lasota, 2019
See also Casey's photo of C-82A 'Boxcar' N208 near Beaver,AK elsewhere on this page

In 2019 (september) I noted an update on Facebook; the Carvair wreck on the Chandalar River is still around!
Carvair wreck on the Chandalar River (Alaska)


Thomas Bouwens from Alaska sent me this image and the question:
"I wonder if anyone has information on these wrecks I found on Google Earth at a mining strip, 4 miles east of Chandalar Lake, Alaska."
Two plane wrecks near Chandalar Lake

Marc Hookerman came up with the identities: "They are C-46 N92853 and (top) C-119 N15509.  That is the Tobin Creek Mine Airstrip (closed)."

C-119G N15509 (c/n 10775) crashed on 21Apr84, while on take off from Venetie Airport with destination Fairbanks. See Aviation Safety Network.
C-46 crashdetails 1983 on
http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/AccidentReports/ubuiegb0gnjk3waoijpvjn451/D05272013120000.pdf

NOTE: James Lumley disagreed (dec.2013) with the identity of this wreck, he wrote in dec.2013: "The C-119 identified as the wreck at the Tobin Creek airstrip is NOT N15509, as that aircraft now sits in a museum.
The statement says the aircraft crashed on take-off at the Venetie airport; but that is quite a ways away from Tobin Creek!"
Remark from Webmaster: The museum referred to is Hill Aerospace Museum, but that's a fake tailnumber. I have seen a photo from c/n 10775's dataplate taken by someone who has been inside the wreck. The only doubt I could share is whether this is a likely location for a plane that got into trouble at take off from Venetie! The runway at Venetie is on a 90 degrees angle to Tobin Creek as the crow flies..

The mystery untangled by contributions sent Dec.2013:
Aad van der Voet: "The aircraft at Tobin Creek is most definitely N15509.
The aircraft at the Hill museum is and always has been N966S, ex RCAF 22107, now falsely painted as USAF '52-2107'.
It is true though that N15509 did not take off from Venetie! It was taking off from the airstrip next to where it is lying now, but it never got off the ground. Here is what my database says about this mishap:
The aircraft attempted a downwind take-off from the snow-covered Tobin Creek Mine airstrip. Nosewheel steering was ineffective due to the snow and the rudder was not responsive due to the tailwind. This caused the pilot to lose directional control, and the aircraft ran off the runway, collided with a snowbank and nosed-over into a gully. It was severely damaged and the wreck was abandoned.
The aircraft's Westinghouse J34 jet pod, still carrying the Tanker number 36, was donated to the Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks, AK. A text on the engine said: "Recovered from a crashsite at Tobin Creek. Donated to the Pioneer Air Museum by Brooks Air."
- Note: the NTSB report incorrectly quotes the location as Venetie, AK." If an accident happens at a small/remote airstrip, the location as mentioned by the NTSB is often totally unreliable. They usually refer to a "nearby" airport instead. This has caused numerous incorrect accident locations to be reported on websites, and also in some books, particularly if it happened in remote locations such as Alaska. Tobin Creek is an example of that problem.

And Marc Hookerman wrote:
"The C119 at TCK is N15509. The C46 is N92853.
Downwind takeoffs or landings at Tobin Creek were often SOP as the airstrip is uni-directional - one way in, opposite way out.
You had to carry a lot of power coming in there to deal with the wind-shear and subsequent grade of the airstrip. Located in a tight, ascending valley within the Chandalar region of the Brooks Range, Tobin Creek was - without a doubt - one of the nastiest places the fuel haulers flew to. Altitude, short, steep grade, dog legged, and the surface was a tire shredder. With peaks on three sides of the airstrip, the wind-shear was awful. CAVU, calm days were favored, but in the Brooks Range of Alaska, that is about as rare as an Iguana...
During the few years leading up the closure of the mine, the only operators that would go in there were Brooks Fuel and occasionally Everts. The mine has been closed since 1996 or so - the runway is now completely washed out.
NTSB dockets no longer allow 'nearby' facility selection during data entry when dealing with an airstrip without a location identifier - unless it happens off airport. That was only a problem prior to the 1990s."

Following photographs (prints) of N15509 were given by Brooks Fuel to Michael Prophet (website), who scanned the images and passed them on to me for use on my website; unfortunately there's no date nor name of the photographer.
N15509 wreck at Tobin Creek
A photo taken later, again at some unknown date but without snow, showed the wreck without the top-mounted jet engine. I choose not to publish that image as it includes a person and could not credit the photographer.
That jet engine was donated by Brooks Fuel to the Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks: see my visit in 2003.

 

Michael Prophet (propliner enthusiast) noted this wreckage on
the website www.walter-steinberg.de/Koyukuk/Koyukuk.htm
C-119 on Koyukuk River Click the above link or the thumbnail to the webpage, for a larger image.
Michael suggested: "...it is the Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, survivor N8682 of Hawkins & Powers (Tanker 138)

Location would be some 30 miles south of Bettles Field and near the Koyukuk River, close to the village of Allakaket; about 200 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
Accident details on Aviation-Safety.Net
This would be the C-119 Flying Boxcar, described in the Legend of Dead Dugan.

Phil Schaefer sent me this photo in June 2007, he wrote:
I've got a couple of aerial photos of the B-24 wreck near Wood River Butts, about 30 miles south of Fairbanks if you're interested. According to the great guys at the Pioneer Park museum it crashed shortly after WWII while trying to recreate a 4 engine failure that caused another plane to crash (I believe that is the wreck near the Charlie River). Unfortunately, they succeeded...
Not much left of the wreckage now, a wildfire a couple years ago did a lot of damage.

Tim Berg replied with the following information:
"That picture is of the first B-24 that went in with engine- and prop problems. No one was killed in it. There were some broken bones... B-24 wreckage
The second one, that went out to duplicate the first one, is about 4 miles south of the one you have pictures of and it had no survivors. It is much harder to see.
I do have some pictures of it. Fire never got to either one of them. I have an article from the Air Force Flying Safety Magazine Published June 1990 about the incidents, crashed in 1943."
Craig Bass wrote me in June 2009:
" Just finished reading a story by 'Lieutenant Leon Crane A.C. as told to Gerold Frank and James D. Horan' titled 'Eighty-Four Days in the Arctic' in an old book my father-in-law gave me entitled 'The 100 Best True Stories of World War II' (Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc., 1945).

Lt. Leon Crane was the co-pilot of the B-24 that crashed near Charlie River while doing prop tests.
The story is about his experience as a survivor of the flight. Pretty interesting read, so I decided to see if I could find where Charlie River is, and while I didn’t find a map, I did find your website...
What spurred me to write to you was that Tim Berg quoted on your website from an article from the Air Force Flying Safety Magazine (publ. June 1990) saying that quote/ Fire never got to either one of them /unquote (referring to the two B-24 crashes near Charlie Lake).
Perhaps the article was referring to natural fires over the years; however, Lt. Crane says:
"I had landed on a snow-covered slope. Far above me, I made out the flaming wreck of the plane. It was at least five miles away, a distant, black-red glow with black smoke spreading and twisting above it. I looked into the valley below. There was a small stream threading its way down there, with spruce trees growing on both sides. I had landed in a rather barren area. The only vegetation about me was a few scrub brush pushing through the snow. I was well above time line."
"It was very quiet. Not a sound of anything. I shouted, 'Ho!' at the top of my voice. I yelled again and again. No answer, not so much as an echo in that rarified atmosphere. I must be up pretty high. Now I began to realize that my hands were almost blue with cold: I had left my mittens in the plane. I picked up my chute and wrapped it into a small bundle and set out to climb toward the wreck. We had always been told that if we crashed, the plane was far easier to pick up from the air than a man walking on foot. But I’d no sooner taken half a dozen steps before I was stumbling and floundering. Under the snow the mountainside was a mass of glacial boulders, rounded like cobblestones, ranging in size from pebbles to boulders too heavy to lift. It was next to impossible to walk. I tried struggling on, but after about half an hour I had made less than a few hundred yards, and I was exhausted. I cleared away the snow from a large boulder, sat down on it and as calmly and methodically as I could, took stock of the situation."
"I was in a hell of a fix. On the minus side, (1), I didn’t know where I was, save that I was about an hour’s flight east of Big Delta. That might mean as much as 200 miles from Big Delta. (2) The men at Ladd Field didn’t know where I was. The last time we’d reported was at 11 o’clock. We were then immediately over Big Delta. They had no way of knowing that we had gone far out of our way to find that gap in the overcast. Things had happened so swiftly in the plane that we’d had no chance to radio anyone. (3) Our B-24 carried a heavy load of gasoline. I’d seen such B-24’s, heavy with gas, go up in flame. I knew the chance of any emergency equipment, such as food, guns, sleeping bags, being left in the plane was pretty slight." (p. 857)
He chose to make his way downhill where he encountered a stream he later learned was the Charlie River. Later that night, he says: "I could still make out a distant red glow far above me. The B-24 still burned." (p858)

As the title indicates, it took him 84 days to find civilization and be flown back to Ladd Field, Alaska, where the flight had originated. He makes no mention of any of the other crewmembers ever making it home.
Anyway, as I said, it was a good read, and I found the pictures of the crash site on your website to be interesting, and thought you might find Lt. Crane’s account from immediately following the crash to be interesting. If you can find the book, he details the entire flight through his return to civilization. "
Craig Bass
www.craigsrailroadpages.com

 

Karl Hayes wrote me in January 2009 with a nice challenge...:
"On your website (the bookspage) you mention the book 'Triumph over Turbulence' by Jim Magoffin, which is about Interior Airways of Alaska, which was founded by Mr Magoffin. I read this book over the Christmas and it was a great read. He mentions two crashes which may be of interest for your 'Abandoned Aircraft of the North' department. I carried out some more research, and they are as follows."
(The above mentioned research culminated in an excellent article about Interior Airways in Air Britain's quarterly magazine 'Aviation World', issue June 2009).

Curtiss C-46 N67982 - see seperate item further down

Fairchild C-82 N208M
"Mr Magoffin mentions that as he was looking for more aircraft to fly cargo in Alaska, he became aware that an oil company in Guatemala had two C-82s for sale and he bought these, and they became N208M and N209M. In his book he mentions that N208M was on a flight from Northern Alaska back to base at Fairbanks when it had engine failure. It force landed at Yukon Flats about 100 miles north of Fairbanks and was just left there.
It landed in the bush and none of the crew were injured. It was just too remote a crash site to retrieve the aircraft.
He does not give a date but the crash is on the NTSB site and the date was 16th January 1965. Presumably the C-82 is still lying there out in the bush?" SEE BELOW!!!
(A photo of sistership N209M was sent to me by John Stewart, see Photos by Friends & Guests - page 20)

Chaz Harris wrote me in June 2009: "Just wanted to know I decided to look for the legendary N208M
C-82A of Interior Airways today, AND FOUND IT IN 5 MINUTES!
I have a cropped Google Earth picture that I would like you to put up to confirm it's existance:"

C-82A N208M Interior Airways
-->See Samuel Boga's photos below

See also Art Goddard's photo of N208M taken at Fairbanks airport (FAI) by Art in July 1964, a few months before it crashed, 'found' on
http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/580043.html

This is what I found on www.c82packet.com (dead link 2020)
Date: 16 January, 1965
Operator: Interior Airways Inc. / N208M
s/n / msn: 45-57793 / 10163
Location: near Beaver, Yukon Flats, Alaska
For some reason this crash seems to have slipped past wreck-hunters for many years as it has only just recently come to light. An Interior Airways C-82, N208M was returning to Fairbanks from Northern Alaska when engine trouble forced it down in remote regions about 100 miles north of Fairbanks in the vicinity of a small outpost called Beaver. The crew walked away but the wreck has since been forgotten about.
Google Earth searches have turned up nothing as yet but if anyone out there has any further information please drop me a line via the home-page.
Beaver airstrip: N66 21.44 / W147 24.02 / elev. 106m. (Dave Robertson provided a Google Earth attachment with which one can zoom in on N208M, but I don't expect everybody uses GE, so I made a Google Maps link too.

Report on Aviation Safety Network

Dietmar Eckell has brilliant photos of N208M, amongst many other wrecks.

Report from Thomas Hird, pilot flying in this crash...
"...With no notice the left engine barked once or twice and quit! Remember - no electrical power equals no feathering pump to action. The resultant aerodynamic behavior was something akin to a falling brick The C-82 needed all the power two functioning engine can produce to climb. Now I am flying a C-82 with the gear down and one wind milling propeller. While plummeting towards the earth...." MORE...  


N208M
David Tuttle wrote me in Nov.2010:
"I flew over this wreck of N208M (the C-82A Packet of Interior Airways) many times when I worked for Warbelows
Air Ventures. It lies on a straight line from Beaver to the old village strip at Venetie. Thought I'd send you a couple
of pictures I snapped one day as I overflew it."
Route Venetie - Beaver
"I noticed on your page Photos by Friends and Guests you have some very nice pictures of my current airplane, Tanker 45,
a P2V Neptune tanker; I am the co-pilot on T-45 right now, with captain Bob West."

Casey Lasota wrote me in August 2019: "Am up in Beaver working a fire, and came upon the Boxcar wreckage.
Wouldn't you know it, it's become a den for a black bear! Enjoy and cheers!"
(See also Casey's photo of ATL.98 Carvair N103 at Venetie,AK elsewhere on this page)
N208M C-82A Boxcar of Interior Airways
Wreck of Fairchild C-82A 'Boxcar' N208M (c/n 10163; ex/ USAF 45-57793) of Interior Airways near Beaver,AK
Photo by Casey Lasota (28Jul2019)

 

Karl Hayes wrote me in January 2009 with a nice challenge...:
"On your website (the bookspage) you mention the book 'Triumph over Turbulence' by Jim Magoffin, which is about Interior Airways of Alaska, which was founded by Mr Magoffin. I read this book over the Christmas and it was a great read. He mentions two crashes which may be of interest for your 'Abandoned Aircraft of the North' department...

While N208M has been adressed in the item above, this next one is about C-46 N67982.

"Karl wrote: "He also mentions an incident involving a C-46 in the spring of 1968.
The C-46 was landing on 'No Luck Lake' in the very remote western arctic region of Alaska. The lake was frozen at the time and the C-46 went through the ice!
There is a photograph of it in the book, sitting in the middle of the water after the ice had melted. He doesn't give a registration, but a bit of research shows this to be N67982, a C-46 of Interior. Again, the aircraft was just left there, so may well still be there..?"

Fortunately Francis Blake came to the rescue in may 2017! He contacted me with a splendid story and this unique photo of the unfortunate Curtiss C-46 N67982!

C-46 N67982 ran out of luck at No Luck Lake! Copyright Francis Blake
Curtiss C-46F N67982 (c/n 22584; ex/ USAF 44-78761) lost in 'No Luck Lake', Alaska.
Before it went to Interior Airways it was acquired by Flying Tigers (and reg'd N67982) from the military.

I have not been able to find an occurrence report, perhaps this 1968 incident is buried in some paper files somewhere.

Francis wrote me: "Saw the blurb on the C-46 N67982 in No Luck Lake (way down in the website, with a request for photos).
I have this close aerial photo of it sitting in the water, as described!
I took it in July 1972 while I was part of a geological field crew. We were tent camped at nearby Driftwood; our field transportation was a Bell Jet Ranger. Our cargo carriers were ex-C-46's and ex-C-47's."
Francis continued: "This particular C-46 (an F model, #22584, 44-78761) stayed in the lake for decades. It landed on ice in June 1968 and broke through.
Interior Airways intended to rescue it, but never did.
1990's satellite photos showed it broken into two major sections and had moved to a different part of the lake from where I saw it. Winter storms?
But current sat pics do not show it so guess it has been removed and scrapped.
BTW: The original Indian name for the lake was 'Nullaq Lake', but you can easily see how it was corrupted to No Luck! I don't know if it became No Luck before or after the plane incident..?
Summer 1972 was my only time on the Slope. First at Sagwon, then Umiat, finally Driftwood."

I think the nickname found use after the incident as Google maps still goes by the native name 'Nullack Lake'.Nullaq Lake, Alaska
While Google Earth found the name Nullaq Lake it failed to zoom in on the spot, I marked it and named it again.
Zooming in with data from Google Maps I found GE did have it named acordingly. The images do not show a plane.

In the book 'Triumph over Turbulence' (see my books page) I came across this photo:
Interior Airways C-46 drowning in No Luck Lake
So this states it hasn't been salvaged...

 

Back to In Search For...

PAGE 1 (CANADA) | PAGE 2 (CANADA) | PAGE 3 (USA, ALASKA)



To email me, click on the image and write the correct adress as given below
(replace -AT- by the @ symbol).

Sorry for the inconvenience, but this is because spam has increasingly become a problem.


Created: 25-Nov-2020
Updated 27-Nov-2020