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Incident Name:
Date:  8/2/1944
Personnel: Frederick S  Frank
Age: 27
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service, the smokejumper plane was located at the SJ base at Cave Junction, OR
Position: smokejumper pilot and aerial firefighter

Summary: The Fairchild 71 Smokejumper Plane had been having fuel or mechanical problems. Preceeding a smokejumper drop to fight a fire on August 2, 1944, pilot Fred Frank tested the plane by test flying it. After rising 300-400 feet, the engine suddenly coughed and went dead. The plane went into a spiral and crashed, instantly killing Fred. The full description is here starting on page 12: Continuation of Illinois River Crash - Cave Junction, Oregon 8/2/44 in  Smoke Jumpers Staticline publication, 1996 (entire download is 5 MB pdf).

Fairchild 71 for type in Pan Am colors from Wikipedia

Fairchild 71 Fairchild 71

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Maps

Illinois River area next to Cave Junction strip, Cave Junction jumper base

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • 8/2/1944
    • 1 killed, Fred Frank, pilot
    • Operator: Forest Service
    • Type: Fairchild 71
    • Location: Illinois River area next to Cave Junction strip, OR
    • FAA Registration # none
    • NTSB # none
  • National Transportation Safety Board: none
  • Fairchild 71 probable cause from smokejumper mechanics; Smoke Jumpers Staticline publication, 1996 (entire download is 5 MB pdf)

    Fairchild 71 probable cause Fairchild 71 probable cause

  • Oregon Death Index: Frederick S Frank

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