Cessna L-19 recovered after 47 years

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Sep 17, 2004
Moorpark, CA

A Cessna L-19 Bird Dog was recovered on Saturday from the bottom of a Minnesota lake, where it had rested beneath 40 feet of water since 1958. The recovery team used a large winch mounted on a pontoon boat to hoist the airplane, then towed it to shore. Divers also found a flight log, parachutes and headphones. The wreck was discovered by accident in July 2004, when fishermen in search of walleye scanned the area with an underwater camera. The Army airplane crashed after the pilot, Capt. Richard P. Carey, reported he was low on fuel and then apparently hit some seagulls and crashed into the lake. Carey was killed and his body was recovered two weeks later, but the aircraft was never found. Local organizations, including an American Legion post and an EAA chapter, plan to restore the airplane and display it as a memorial to its pilot.

There are 22 Bird Dogs sitting at an Army base in Thailand, US property. When I was there in 2000, the base commander told me if you could figure a way to get the state dept. to turn them over to you, the're yours!
Nonskimmer said:
22 of them? I wonder why they just left them there.

They were old MAP planes. The Thai army replaced them with T-41s. They were actually in great shape! I got some fuzzy photos of them, I'll try to post them when I get back to Colorado.
Hey, here they are


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Yes - I showed how they varied from one extreme to another. Airframe wise they were all in great shape, although they had these hornets nested in some of them. The little buggers were tiny, their stinger couldn't penetrate the skin, but you could feel a pinch eveytime one of them tried to sting you!

One of the "Honchos" there told me that if you could find the right contact at the US State Deparment, you could have them. He also said they were taking up room on his base! :shock:
The pictures;


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Hmmm, If they've been sitting there for 9 years, wouldn't they be classed as 'abandoned'?

I know that anything that was left behind when the US pulled out of Vietnam, the US Govt didn't want to know about. Basically, as far as they were concerned, they didn't exist. Different situations, I know, but they US have walked away and abandoned them.

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