Navajo Peak DC-3
|Name||Navajo Peak C-47|
|CAP data||40 03 15 105 38 40|
|GPS coords||40 03 25.8 105 38 32.7|
|GPS decimal||40.05716 105.64243|
|Datum used||NAD 27|
21 Jan. 1948
|R4D at Pima Museum. Similar to DC-3/C-47
Photo by John Sepp. Courtesy of the Pima Air and Space Museum
CAP wording: FAA Flight Inspection aircraft. Color - silver. West end Niwot Ridge. On north slope above Isabelle Glacier. "Airway did not check out for IFR flight" Wreckage about 800 ft N.E. of summit of Navajo Pk (13,409) at 12,800'. In gully just east of summit on norch side. Not marked but "X" is painted on rock to one side.
The wreck cause: I don't have an accident report but based upon the newspaper articles it seems that a serious storm was in progress during the flight. Such storms over the high mountains will have enormous up and downdrafts so it seems likely that the conditions exceeded the aircraft capability.
Casualties: Pilot: Snavely
Passenger - Brown
Email from the co-pilot's son Feb. 2003-
I liked your admonition regarding my father's grave. His name was Warren Lungstrum. I was a month old, my brother 13 months and my widow mom only 23 years old. They weren't found until May 1948. The toll it took on us and the other two men's families is hard to describe.
I've just come to research his wreck on the internet and find several climber reports that aren't sensitive to the real situation as you so kindly have been. Much of my father and his personal effects are still up there. I wish people would leave it that way.
Site Description: I haven't been to the impact site as of yet. The hike taken was extending too long into the day to follow the debris trail up the ridge. Coordinates given are for the debris below the ridge. Site is generally at the SW head end of the valley containing Isabelle Glacier, Long Lake. These are accessed from the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Debris I've seen consist of several torn sections of (probably) wing, an engine, the accessory drive section of the engine, the propellor hub with 3 blades and misc. other unidentified. Reportedly there is more debris near the ridge crest. Another trip would be required.
Best route : Park at the Long Lake trailhead in the Brainard Lakes Recreation area. Proceed west on the Isabelle Glacier trail. Carefully follow the trail until it comes to the final set of switchbacks on a scree slope with some grass. Diverge from the trail here and climb off to the SW up the rockslides. Navajo Peak is a conical summit on the ridge and is south of a fairly large, steep unnamed snowfield. Isabelle Glacier lies in the northern arm of the cirque while the wreckage is in the south side. Coordinates given are for the debris in the rockslide below the ridge.
Last Modified: 1/1/2008