Prescott, AZ (near) Racing Plane Crashes, Nov 1928




Prescott, Ariz., Nov. 4 (AP) -- The monoplane Yankee Doodle, holder of two transcontinental records, caught in a blinding rain and fog in the Bradshaw mountains last night, struck against the side of a wall in Crook canyon, twenty-three miles south of here, and sent Captain C. B. COLLYER, pilot, and HARRY TUCKER, passenger-owner, to their deaths.
The plane was en route from Los Angeles to New York on a nonstop flight.
Scattered bits of airplane wreckage strewn along the canyon today told searching parties the story of the wreck and resulted in positive identification of the aircraft and the bodies of COLLYER and TUCKER.
It is believed by members of the sheriff's searching party which found the strewn wreckage late today that the craft had struck the canyon side with a tremendous force and that the heavy load of gasoline exploded with the impact.
The open parachutes of the pilot and the passenger indicated that the pair, realizing their plight too late, had made an effort to jump. Their landing flares had also been released.
J. B. TOMLINSON, manager of the Storm Cloud mines, was the only eyewitness of the crash. He said he heard the plane come down through the canyon, sputting as if the motor was failing, and after it had scraped the tree tops for a distance, crashed. He said a loud explosion immediately followed the crash.
The rugged character of the terrain did not enable searchers to reach the scene of the tragedy until late today, when a 20 year old youth, FRANK SHIELDS, found the scattered remains of the proud cross continent record-holding monoplane.
The Bradsaw mountains where the plane fell previously proved a barrier to the Yankee Doodle in a nonstop flight less than two months agao. With ART GOEBEL, famous transoceanic aviator, at the controls and TUCKER as a passenger, the Yankee Doodle was forced down twenty miles north of Prescott when the gasoline supply became exhausted.
The Yankee Doodle took off from Mines field, Los Angeles, yesterday at 3:20 p.m. for a continuous journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
While the pilot, COLLYER, had stated that pressing business engagements demanded his presence there, he admitted that he would attempt to better GOEBEL'S mark or less than nineteen hours for the trip.
After establishing a new east-to-west record recently in their Lockheed Vega craft, COLLYER and TUCKER said they would set to make a whole revision of aviation records.
The plane had just been released from the factory, where it underwent a complete overhauling after the record trip from New York.
Only the fact that the rocks were plowed away at the spot where the plane hit enabled the searchers to fix the exact location of the crash, for parts of the craft were scattered for more than a quarter of a mile along the mountainside.
Letters and photographs, along with a few personal effects of the fliers, served to identify them as the two who hopped off at Mines field, Los Angeles, yesterday afternoon at 3:20 with the intention of keeping a business engagement in New York City today.
Pack mules were expected to bring the bodies down to the highway, where they will be brought here. There was no part of the Yankee Doodle worth salvaging. One strip of the fuselage bearing the name served to help identify the plane.
The fatal crash which snuffed out the lives of two of aviation's most prominent figures apparently took place between 7:30 and 8 o'clock last night. A monoplane was reported seen over a little cluster of mining prospectors cabins about five miles from here about 7:30. At that time it was said that the motor apparently was not functioning properly.
In this crippled condition it was swallowed up in the mist and rain of the night, which authorities here believe was responsible for its becoming lost in the mountain fastness.

The Salt Lake Tribune Utah 1928-11-05