The NC14935: Evidence of a 1936 Airplane Crash
Near Kellogg, Idaho
Site Description
View of site.
General View of Site, facing west-southwest.

The news accounts reporting that NC 14935 struck the ridge about 300 feet below its crest proved to be quite accurate. We recorded the elevation of the ridge crest immediately upstream (East-Northeast) of the wreck site at 5635 feet (1718 meters) above sea level.10 The wreckage was found to be concentrated between 5406 feet (1648 meters)11 and 5158 feet (1573 meters).12 The probable point of impact was found at 5326 feet (1623 meters).13

The wreckage is distributed for about 150 linear meters (500′) along the steep, steep-sided ravine of a snowmelt-fed stream (dry at the time of our survey) that runs west-southwest, joining a larger creek about half a mile below the wreckage concentration. Very little wreckage is apparent on the slopes above the streambed; what was found there comprised small fragments of glass, aluminum, and hard rubber. The streambed runs through a landscape of metamorphic rubble, over a series of sharp rock outcrops that must form waterfalls when the stream is flowing. There is a fair amount of riparian vegetation along the streambed itself, increasing dramatically downstream toward the mainstem of the creek into which the stream empties. The headwaters are sparsely vegetated for 20 to 40 meters (35–70′) in all directions from the streambed, surrounded by lodgepole pine forest with knee-to-waist high wild huckleberry and other brush.

On the south side of the ravine at an elevation of about 5326 feet (1623 meters), there is a patch of dark, friable soil containing abundant small fragments of burned and unburned aluminum and glass, which we interpret as the site of a burn. Upstream to the northeast, only a few pieces of aluminum, engine fittings, glass shards, and a switch plate (probably engine-associated) were found. Upslope from the apparent burn area to the immediate east, south of the streambed, there is a light scatter of glass fragments and pieces of hard black rubber. To the northeast, north of the stream, a camshaft ring and other apparent engine parts were found, widely scattered.

Immediately upstream of the apparent burn, an unstable rockslide intrudes on the streambank. Across the face of this slide, someone has stretched plastic-coated snowfence material, anchored with rebar posts. A partial roll of the same material lies just upstream, and two mauls were found a few meters upslope – one a hand maul weighing about two pounds, the other a long-handled maul weighing perhaps nine pounds, with a broken handle. We interpret this as a fairly recent landslide control effort, presumably by Forest Service personnel.

Downstream, aircraft parts are almost continuous along the ravine for about 70 meters (230′). The distribution stops abruptly at the head of a steep, rocky drop-off, at the end of which is a small cluster of parts, then another drop-off, then another cluster. Downstream from this last cluster, only one fragment of aluminum and one ceramic insulator, probably from a magneto, were found in searching the ravine all the way to its mouth.

Figure One: Site Sketch Map.

10 Recorded at 1:30 pm 7/10/04.
11 Recorded at 1:30 pm 7/10/04; at 8:00 am the elevation was recorded as 5388 feet.
12 Recorded at about 11:45 am 7/10/04
13 Recorded at about 9:30 am 7/10/04.

Introduction & Purpose Background Research Fieldwork Site Description Aircraft Parts Noted Interpretation
Research Results; Eligibility for National Register; Acknowledgements Bibliography Appendix 1: Advertisement for LUX Airplane Fire System

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