Glendo, Wyoming Monomail
|Name||Glendo Monomail Serial # 1153 - the very first Monomail|
|GPS coords||Private Land.|
|GPS decimal||Private Land.|
|County||Platte County, Wyoming|
Crashed May 28, 1935 on mail flight from Billings, Montana to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
|Only small parts remain. (photo by Larry Liebrecht)||Metal detectors required. (photo by Larry Liebrecht)|
The wreck cause: Flying under low-hanging clouds then up into the clouds to clear a ridge. Descended too soon, impacted terrain. "Contact flying" of the 1930's put pilots and aircraft at very low altitude terrain following under bad weather. It was the first accident for the Wyoming Air Service in 5 years.
Pilot: Alva Lucas, Airline Transport rated pilot, 5000hr pilot, non-drinker, non-smoker, known as a very cautious man. (from newspaper clippings)
Site Description: The accident report describes a "horseshoe shaped hill" but in reality, it is one of thousands of gulleys that exist in the area. I twice conducted aerial recon in a light aircraft to follow the highway on the described route to see if I could find anything remarkable that correlated to the description. I had two very nice flights in the area but didn't find anything unique. Later, Duke Sumonia and Len Wallace worked their way up the private ranches in the area asking about the wreck and contacted a landowner who knew exactly where it was because he'd found some gear parts under a tree many years earlier. The landowner took Len and Duke to the spot where they looked for awhile but found no evidence of an airplane.
A few weeks later the Aviation Archeology subset of the Colorado Aviation Historical Society mounted an investigation of the site with metal detectors. The first part was located 20 feet from where the vehicles were parked and pretty much where the landowner said it was. About 2 hrs was spent surveying the site with metal detectors. Debris was found in a line about 150' long but parts were very, very small. None were visible on the surface. The first visit was mostly a site survey. Another visit will be planned later to collect the parts.
Thanks to Tony Moore of http://thexhunters.com aviation archeology group for the email pointing me to this site. We had a great adventure and located a really historic aircraft.
The Boeing Model 221A Monomail was a purpose-designed mailplane incorporating advanced features such as retractable landing gear and radio. Interestingly it was still an open-cockpit design in keeping with the preferences of the pioneering pilots of the time.
Best route to visit - None. Site is on private land. "13 miles south of Glendo, Wyoming" Contact me if you have an appropriate interest in this site.
Last Modified: 1/1/2008