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Thread: Lovelock NV Airplane Hunt Nov 2010

  1. #1
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    Default Lovelock NV Airplane Hunt Nov 2010

    My friend Robb, one of my mentors when I first started hunting crashed planes, stopped by to visit a couple days before Thanksgiving. We had planned a two-day trip to get out and search for crash sites like we did in the old days, but the first major winter storm was moving through on the day we planned to go up. We debated about cancelling, but I had put in a significant amount of research on the two crash sites we planned to look for and was pretty sure I had their locations pinpointed. Not to mention that after all that planning, I was pretty psyched go to that area and see if I had done my homework correctly.

    The forecast for central NV showed the snow was going to be light in the area where the planes were, and it was possible the snow elevation might be above the sites. Since this trip was more about getting out with an old friend than it was to find the planes, we decided to still go and, at worst, call it a scouting trip. Plus, it had been a while since I had gone out after a first snow, and I was secretly hoping to have a couple inches of snow on the ground. While it could no longer be a full two-day trip because of the storm, we could still make it a day trip.

    However, the “day trip” was about 700 miles round trip, so to get a head start, we drove up that evening and spent the night at a hotel in Reno. We drove up about two hours behind the storm and while I-80 was not exceptionally bad over the Sierras, it was chain conditions and took 6 hours to drive what normally takes 4. No photos of the drive up, as I was too busy driving and trying to read the road. It was one of those surreal trips-- the clouds had cleared out and a practically full moon was lighting up the fresh snow.


    The next morning were head east from Reno and were greeted by snow on the ground.



    However, the next valley east was clear of snow.



    But one of the crash sites is on the back side of those snow covered mountains... so we moved on to the next site.



    However, the next crash was in the foothills of these snow covered mountains.



    We exit the freeway and head out to investigate.



    Looks like someone else beat us to first tracks!






    In addition to tire tracks, we saw coyote, deer, cow, and rabbit tracks.



    Winter Wonderland! Not a cloud in the blue sky and everything was crisp and clean with the new snow.
    Last edited by PHXtaco; 01-23-2014 at 05:27 AM.
    2004 4dr V6, ICON coil overs and rear shocks, Camburg arms, manual hubs, Deaver springs in the rear. Light Racing Jounce Shock System (Front & Rear) Demello rock sliders and rear bumper. Bud Built IFS Skidplate and Belly Skidplate. BFG 33X10.5 tires. ARB bumper and Warn XD 9000 On board air. CB, in dash moving map, ScanGauge II gauge. IPT Valve Body Upgrade Truck Page

  2. #2
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    The first site we were searching for was an SR-71 that crashed in 1967. The aircraft experienced flight instrument malfunction and entered an unusual attitude. The pilot could not recover visually due to the darkness and the crew had to bail out. The aircraft impacted the ground near vertically and left an impact crater 60 feet across and 11 feet deep as seen in the accident report photo below. The report indicated that they excavated another 22 feet recovering wreckage before the crater was filled back in.



    We got lucky and in one of the areas of no snow we found airplane fragments. These two pieces are about 2 inches long. (I moved them onto the snow for contrast.) I was somewhat surprised we found the site with this much snow on the ground, but when a plane that big hits the ground that hard, it sends many tiny fragments all over the place.



    One of the deeper snow drifts. The snow was the dry light puffy powder that squeaked when you walked in it.



    We think this was the rabbit super highway from all of the rabbit tracks.



    Since I knew I would need to come back here in spring when the snow is gone to check out the crash site, I decided to investigate a few areas for campsites and a couple springs in the area. The topo map showed there was a spring and water tank in the canyon ahead.






    The “water tank” ended up being half of an old jet engine shipping container.






    We then decide to head up to the source of the spring.
    Last edited by PHXtaco; 01-23-2014 at 05:28 AM.
    2004 4dr V6, ICON coil overs and rear shocks, Camburg arms, manual hubs, Deaver springs in the rear. Light Racing Jounce Shock System (Front & Rear) Demello rock sliders and rear bumper. Bud Built IFS Skidplate and Belly Skidplate. BFG 33X10.5 tires. ARB bumper and Warn XD 9000 On board air. CB, in dash moving map, ScanGauge II gauge. IPT Valve Body Upgrade Truck Page

  3. #3
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    The spring source was a bit disappointing, nothing more than the telltale grass that is commonly found around desert springs.



    Off to the next spring.






    This spring had a culvert pipe to help pool the water.



    An old military water tank had been used at one time to hold the water.



    Plenty of animals have been using this spring as a water source.



    We pause this trip report for a Toyota commercial...



    Time to head out to look for the next crash site.



    2004 4dr V6, ICON coil overs and rear shocks, Camburg arms, manual hubs, Deaver springs in the rear. Light Racing Jounce Shock System (Front & Rear) Demello rock sliders and rear bumper. Bud Built IFS Skidplate and Belly Skidplate. BFG 33X10.5 tires. ARB bumper and Warn XD 9000 On board air. CB, in dash moving map, ScanGauge II gauge. IPT Valve Body Upgrade Truck Page

  4. #4
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    But first, gas and lunch in Lovelock.



    By now, late afternoon, much of the snow had melted off the mountains compared to the photos I took of these mountains at the beginning of these photos.









    Time to head out on the hike to find the second crash site.



    Not much was left of this one. Metal scrappers had hit it and removed all of the aluminum, leaving only a few mild-steel parts.



    This was interesting; someone, probably the original investigation crew or the metal scrappers had made an impromptu stove. They had taken a gallon can and hacked with a buck knife a slot in the side and slid in a piece of aluminum skin. The bottom of the aluminum skin showed heat damage and soot from a small fire.





    Since it was sunset and we had quite a few miles of snow covered 2-track roads to drive before we made it back to pavement, I took the covers off the off-road lights. Despite having been covered, they were quite dirty. I had a bottle of Windex in the truck, so I got it out and sprayed them down…mistake! The Windex froze almost immediately and I had to turn the lights on to warm them up enough to clean them.



    The End!
    2004 4dr V6, ICON coil overs and rear shocks, Camburg arms, manual hubs, Deaver springs in the rear. Light Racing Jounce Shock System (Front & Rear) Demello rock sliders and rear bumper. Bud Built IFS Skidplate and Belly Skidplate. BFG 33X10.5 tires. ARB bumper and Warn XD 9000 On board air. CB, in dash moving map, ScanGauge II gauge. IPT Valve Body Upgrade Truck Page

  5. #5
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    Good times! Looked like a lot of fun thanks for sharing
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  6. #6
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    I always love your reports. Makes me want to go out that way!
    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
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    What a Nice trip in fresh snow and light frozen air !!!
    Thanks to share !!!

  8. #8
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    Reminds me of our desert trip in 2000 with my Dad and son searching for the remains of a F-117 Stealth Fighter 40 miles south of Gallup, NM. Not much left except for small connectors, brackets etc.

    God I miss the Nevada desert....

    Thanks for the report and great pics!

    Al

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albin View Post
    Reminds me of our desert trip in 2000 with my Dad and son searching for the remains of a F-117 Stealth Fighter 40 miles south of Gallup, NM. Not much left except for small connectors, brackets etc.
    \\

    I surprise afther Air Force left some thing , usually they even vacuum and

    sponge wash territory ( i wish my Ex can clean as USAF clean evidence of crash

    site )

  10. #10
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    Very cool! Thanks for another great report.

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