Research Document #33
The Luke Field Crash Report: Exhibit G
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Luke Field, T. H.
March 23, 1937.

Eye-witness account of crash of AMELIA EARHART'S airplane at Luke Field, T.H., Saturday, March 20, 1937.

          On Saturday, March 20th, 1937, the following was observed by the undersigned.

          After having added extra fuel, Mr. Mantz warmed up the engines of Miss Earhart's plane. After checking the engines, Mr. Mantz shut the engines off and Miss Earhart prepared to get into the plane for the take-off. Miss Earhart and two (2) assistants entered the plane for the take-off and waited for approximately an hour for daylight. Flood lights were turned on so that Miss Earhart could get the lay of the landing field.

          At daybreak the plane was taxied by Miss Earhart to the far end of the runway for the take-off. After turning, the take-off was immediately started. The engines appeared to be running wide open and sounded satisfactory.

          Approximately 800 to 1000 feet after the start for take-off, the plane appeared to turn to the right slightly, and then turned to the left doing a left ground loop. In this ground loop, the landing gear, both right and left, appeared to have been knocked off, the right going first. Soon after losing the landing gear the right wing struck the run-way. After the wing struck the ground the fuselage and motors settled on the ground and seemed to skid for some distance.

          By the time the airplane had stopped doing the ground loop, the Luke Field fire department was at the plane prepared to put out any possible fire. The mechanics from the Hawaiian Air Deport who were standing along the edge of the landing mat ran across the runway to the plane with fire fighters. Mr. Mantz with a fire fighter accompanied these mechanics.

          Miss Earhart was standing up in the cockpit soon after the plane had stopped turning, and a short time after that, crawled out of the cockpit and went to the rear cabin door.

          The batteries and all electrical leads from the batteries were disconnected by Mr. Mantz assisted by Hawaiian Air Deport mechanics. Parts and supplies were removed from the plane by Mr. Mantz assisted by Hawaiian Air Depot mechanics and loaded into a government truck and taken to the Hawaiian Air Depot for storage. The fuel tanks were then drained, by order of Mr. Mantz, into a service truck from Luke Field. After draining off the gas, preparation was made to remove the airplane from the field by order of Mr. Mantz.

          Mr. Mantz instructed me to first remove the wings before lifting the airplane. This was partly accomplished, when the order was changed and the plane was lifted partly with an electric crane from the Depot and a crane furnished by the Navy. At this point the Navy furnished a power shovel; the other cranes were removed, slings were installed, and the plane raised and placed on a trailer furnished by the Depot Supply. The plane and trailer were removed from the landing mat to the Hawaiian Air Deport as far as the Depot end of the mat by means of a government truck.

          It was necessary to use a steam shovel to pull the plane and trailer the rest of the distance from the mat to the Final Assembly hangar of the Hawaiian Air Depot on account of the soft and wet condition of the flying field between the end of the mat and the Depot. The plane was put into the Final Assembly hangar, the doors closed, and the mechanics who had been working on the plane went home.

  arnold sig
Civilian Employee,
Hawaiian Air Depot

Crash Report Cover Pages Exhibit "G" Statement by Mr. Fred D. Wood, Hawaiian Air Depot.
Proceedings and Findings Exhibit "H" Statement by Mr. E. L. Heidlebaugh, Hawaiian Air Depot.
Exhibit "A" Statement by the Engineering Officer, Wheeler Field, T.H. Exhibit "I" Statement by Mr. Lynn V. Young, Hawaiian Air Depot.
Exhibit "B" "Plan for Amelia Earhart Putnam Flight", Headquarters Wheeler Field, T.H. Exhibit "J" Statement by Corporal E. J. Cashman, R-4311524, 65th Service Squadron.
Exhibit "C" Letter, "Amelia Earhart Putnam Flight", Headquarters Wheeler Field, T.H. Exhibit "K" Statement by Private E. C. Schultz, 6678961, 65th Service Squadron.
Exhibit "D" Statement by the Operations Officer, Luke Field, T.H. Exhibit "M" Inventory of property shipped.
Exhibit "E" Statement by the Engineering Officer, Hawaiian Air Depot. Exhibit "N" Request for shipment and release from responsibility.
Exhibit "F" Statement by Mr. Geo. H. Miller, Hawaiian Air Depot.  

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