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Are there any abandoned aircraft left to be found in old abandoned farms & barns?

Posted By:
Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#1 Posted: 6/3/2010 19:23:50 Modified: 6/3/2010 19:35:53

I recall many years ago about the Jenny that was found on a 2nd. floor of a retail store in down town Chicago.  As I recall the front of the building was removed to get the Jenny out.  Think EAA covered this story long ago.

I worked one summer in 1959 in Alaska for the Dept of Interior doing wild fire control.  Usually 5 people were flown out of Elmendorf AFB on H-21 twin rotor helicopters ( shaped like a banana) on average about  100 miles out in the boonies to the fire area.  We would be dropped off and fight fires, and eat C- rations.   After 3 days they would fly over and drop freah meat & food etc.  Usually the fires were very small from lighting strikes, and the tundra usually was wet anyway.   After a week or so, we would walk to the nearest lake and be picked up by a wigeon amphib and be flown back to base.

On one of these walk outs, I discovered a float plane that had made a forced landing in a small stream about 100 feet wide long ago. The bottom of the floats had been about half chewed off from the landing I think. It looked like it had been there for many years.  I wish I had had the means to sling load it out with a helicopter, but  what does a 20 year old know.  Years later I did a little research, and now think it was a Stinson SM-2.  It had a radial engine with no cowling.  It also had 2 large lift struts for each wing, and the struts did not come to a V like later aircraft do.. I did not start  taking serious pilot trianing until 2 years later.

I still look hard when ever passing abandoned farm property.   After WW2 was over, many were able to buy surplus aircraft for $100.00 and had a means of getting home.

 

Ralph

 

 

 



Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#2 Posted: 6/4/2010 18:53:44

How does a 20 year old from Illinois end up in Alaska?  Well you pack a bag, throw into the car and off you go.  Drove northwest to Canada, then got on the 1,400 mile Alcan highway which in 1959 was a gravel road.   After days of travel ended up in Anchorage Alaska.  After 1,400 miles of gravel, ended up with 18 holes in the windshield of my car. Gas tankers on the Alcan flew at high speed on the Alcan, and when they would pass, the rocks would fly everywhere.

Went about another 40 miles to Hope Alaska and started prospecting for gold.  Had bought a gold pan for testing for gold in streams.  Only when an old  timer told me how to pan, did I start finding gold flakes.  One has to place a metal pan in the fire to get it black, then one can see the flakes of gold.  A pan is just used for testing a stream.  Real money requires some heavy equipement, out of luck again.

So then I bought a raft and did some river rafting, then as the money was running low, headed to Anchorage to seek out a job.

By the way Gold was $32.00 an ounce, and the last year for homesteading 160 acres in Alaska for free was in the year 1959.

 

Ralph



Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#3 Posted: 6/4/2010 19:11:31

Back in 1964, I did find 5 J-3 cubs in one barn, only problem was,  the owner was still living there.  Joe Grey lived on Rt 90 in the middle between Lake City Florida and Live Oak Florida.   The FBO at Lake City had told me about Joe, and having 5 cubs stored in his barn.   I drove there and met Joe, who was happy to show me his collection   All the cubs were dismantled.   But he did have 5 cubs.  I ask if he would sell me one, and he replyed maybe some day.   He said he did not fly anymore, but enjoyed coming to the barn to look at his cubs.

In time I moved on, but wondered what ever happened to those cubs.

 

Ralph



Michael Cook
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
26
Posts
3
#4 Posted: 6/8/2010 23:18:08

Hey Ralph,

 

Im from Fairbanks and if you take off from FAI and head east an 20-40nm you will find a crashed b-17 there are a coulpe of theses up there as the air force did cold weather training. Thought you might like to know~!

 

Michael



Anyone can fly but it takes a Pilot to land!
Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#5 Posted: 6/11/2010 20:54:17

Michael:

Thanks, what do you think we need, some new spark plugs, jacks, perhaps some new props.  Just  kidding.  Was hoping to hear more stories like you related here from other posters.

Ralph



Robert Carver
2
Posts
0
#6 Posted: 6/13/2010 21:06:35

Ralph: I guess I should be flattered that you are using a picture of MY Swift as if it is yours.  However, I'm not!!

Please remove the photo from your postings!

Thanks, Bob Carver....N78244



Carve
Ralph King
437
Posts
50
#7 Posted: 6/14/2010 05:06:40

Robert:

Sorry about the swift picture, was taken off the internet and not from an EAA site.  Never posted the picture wanting people to think it was my airplane.  Have flown some swifts though.

Ralph