Announcing A

school head

September 9 Through September 13, 2009

Loon Lake, Idaho


B-23 tailFrom September 9 (the Wednesday after Labor Day) to Sunday, September 13, 2009 TIGHAR will conduct a Field School focused on a Douglas B-23 Dragon that crashed on the shore of Loon Lake in the Payette National Forest of northern Idaho in 1943. The aircraft is one of the most intact historic aircraft wrecks in the United States and was the subject of a TIGHAR Field School in July 2000 (see Loon Lake). During that survey we discovered that significant portions of the airframe had recently been cut away and removed. Upon further inquiry we learned that representatives of the U.S. Air Force Museum (now the National Museum of the United States Air Force) had done the damage to salvage parts for use as templates in reconstructing a B-23 for the museum. At that time, we expressed concern that the removal of the structural components would lead to more rapid deterioration of the wreck. Nine years later, TIGHAR will return to Loon Lake to examine and document the condition of the aircraft. The data collected during this survey will be valuable in assessing the effects over time of dismemberment and parts salvage on historic crash sites.

TIGHAR members who complete the Field School will have the letters CE appended to their membership numbers signifying that they have completed the Aviation Archaeology Course and are Expedition Qualified. The CE designation is a required for a member to be eligible for selection as a Project Team Member for Earhart project expeditions. This will be the only Field School prior to Niku VI.

Instructors will be Ric Gillespie, TIGHAR Executive Director and Craig Fuller, Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research.

It’s a five mile hike over established trails from the trailhead to Loon Lake. Some of the terrain is fairly steep. Participants should be in good enough physical condition to backpack their own gear to the campsite. Tents and food will be packed in by an outfitter.

Enrollment is limited to 20 individuals – first come, first served. All registrants will sign standard liability releases.

Tuition includes:B-23

  • All transportation (except airfare)
  • Hotel on 9/9 & 9/10
  • Lunch on 9/10
  • Tents and all meals in the field


  • $500 non-fundable registration fee payable by August 15.
  • $1,100 balance to be paid by August 31.
  • $100 discount if full amount ($1,500) is paid by August 15.

See you in Idaho!

Full Report Pending.

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