Saturday, May 17, 2008

Plane Wreck on Humpback Mountain... T-28 Trainer...


Last week, while talking politics with friends & eating shrimp at the local pub, I picked up a copy of the Nelson County Life magazine and read an article about a lost T-28 Trainer on Humpback Mountain. As I read the article I found it interesting where the wreck is located and so close to the Appalachian Trail that I have hiked numerous times in that area.

The article described information researched by Henri Weems of Nellysford where he found that the plane wreck occurred in 1964 during a training flight. It appears it was a training flight with two Marine colonels flying from Andrews Air Force base to Memphis, Tennessee and the T-28 developed engine problems. Both Colonels bailed out when the engine began to fail and lost oil pressure 15 minutes east of their checkpoint in Montebello. Both Colonels survived while the plane crashed on the eastern side of Humpback mountain. The article also described confusion with another plane wreck in the area of Humpback Rocks which I have already done a post here on Rightside at Dobie Mountain Wreck. It turns out that these wreck near Dobie Mountain was also in 1963 but was a civilian Beechcraft Bonanza where the three men aboard perished.

After corresponding with Mr. Weems by email he provided me with a website that provides information on both military and civilian wrecks. This site also provides information on several other plane wrecks along our mountain range and future hikes are already in the planning.

Upon approaching the wrecksite area I came along members of Scout Troop #735 out of Glen Allen Virginia who were hiking the Appalachian Trail. Knowing that I was in the general area and after talking with the Troop leader, it was decided to turn the "Scouts" loose on a search pattern. It took little time for the Scouts to locate the wreckage on the side of the mountain....

Before hiking up to the T-28 site I asked around the county here for information from any of the “Old-timers” at the local 7-Eleven and heard stories of several other wrecks over the years.

T-28 Trainer

Max Range 1,706 km / 1,060 miles
Dimensions: span 12.22 m / 40 ft 1 inlength 10.06 m / 33ft 0 inheight 3.86 m / 12 ft 8 in
Weight: empty 2,914 kg / 6,424 lbmaximum take-off 3,856 kg / 8,500 lb
Powerplant: one 1063-kW (1,425-hp) Wright R-1820-86 Cyclone radial piston engine
Armament: none; the T-28D features provision for up to 544 kg (1,200 Ib) of disposable stores, including Minigun pods, rocket-launcher pods and light bombs, carried on six external hardpoints.

Update   Unfortunately this site has been PICKED over by people who have taken instead of preserved the site. I hiked it a few weeks ago and sad how some people have taken items and left graffiti in their place.... Almost sorry I posted this.....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Both sides of the coin...

I found this mornings blog reading interesting and as usual if you read the entire story or dig a bit further 'The Rest of the Story" comes out. This is the problem of just reading headlines or just skimming the post titles for your information. Roanoke Red Zone has a post about what he saw at the recent 6th District Convention in Lexington last week. Some of the information was reported in other forums, but with a little more investigation, "The Rest of the Story" or the flipside can be found...

"Kurt Michael was confirmed as Augusta County Chairman. Congratulations! I was able to sit in on the credentials subcommittee on Saturday and he is an impressive and detailed man. This should be the end to this disruption in our party. Let's move on."

Now looking at the otherside of the coin the "Rest of the Story" can be found...

"Well not quite so fast. What disappointed me was the argument pressed by Dr. Micheal from Augusta that those attending the 6th District Convention that were not certified in his half of the April 10th Augusta County mass meeting should not be seated as delegates. My understanding it was a total of 5 people--come on. Whether or not these 5 were handled properly in the Augusta mass meeting, it was clearly their intent to be a delegate. They were allowed to vote by provisional ballot. That means their vote doesn't matter unless the count was close enough for a challenge. Regardless of these 5 individuals reasons for being there on Saturday, what does it say about us a party? This was a great opportuntity for Dr. Micheal to take the high road and argue they be allowed to participate if they gave up their Saturday to be in attendance. It bothers me that citizens outside our difficult to understand process are given the message that we don't want them to join us. Too bad."

Red Zone did well to provide both sides of the story as he saw it and it is important to view the entire story when possible instead of "one sided" tidbits provided at some sites. In fact Red Zone brings up a good point regarding how the party has gotten caught up in so many rules, regulations, agendas, and procedures that it is getting to a point where we are ignoring the intentions of the voters and their votes. The Augusta mass meeting had obvious procedure issues but the fact is that when given the clear choice between two candidates for the Augusta County Republican Chairman spot they elected Dr. Larry Roller over Kurt Michael by a obvious 60% - 40% split... It is very important that we do not lose sight of the clear intention of the voter by arguing over procedures and rules. If we disregard the clear intention of the voter and change the outcome for technical reasons, we will be in clear danger of not seeing the voter come out again in the future and participating in the election process...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Do we really need concealed weapons in State Parks?... YES!!!

The Department of the Interior has opened a 60 day comment period for people to comment on allowing persons with valid Concealed Weapons Permits to carry concealed weapons within National Parks and wildlife refuges... The vast majority of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia runs through National Forest areas and some areas designated as Wilderness....

Interior Department Opens Public Comment Period on Proposed Park and Refuge Firearm Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the beginning of a 60-day public comment period on updates to regulations regarding the carrying of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The proposed update to existing regulations would allow an individual to carry a concealed weapon in national parks and wildlife refuges if, and only if, the individual is permitted to carry a concealed weapon and is authorized to do so on similar state lands in the state in which the national park or refuge is located. The proposed update is available in the Federal Register and on

I have almost completed the entire Virginia section of the Appalachian Trail and have met many different people along the trail and in shelters. The vast majority have been day hikers and thru-hikers and interested in enjoying the natural resources provided and protected by the Department of the Interior. I have also assisted on mountain rescue\first aid assists on the trail and have had the opportunity to talk with several Rangers and National Forest personnel. While the majority of incidents discussed were of positive nature, they have been reports of unfortunate incidents along the trail as well. Following is a report of a incident that just took place this past weekend.
Randall Lee Smith, who pleaded guilty to the 1981 murders of two hikers on the Appalachian Trail, is in custody after a double shooting Tuesday night just a few miles from the site of the previous crime.

The shooting occurred between Giles and Bland counties around the Dismal Creek area, authorities said.Virginia State Police apprehended Randall Lee Smith after he crashed a black 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck that matched the description of one possibly involved in the shooting, said Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Conroy.
Sheila and Melissa Miller, sisters who helped the injured fishermen call 911, identified the victims as Sean Farmer of Tazewell, who was shot in the chest and face, and Scott Johnston of Bluefield, Va., who was shot three times in the neck. Johnston is in serious but stable condition, said Carilion hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart.
Some people have commented against allowing persons with valid Concealed Weapons Permits to carry concealed firearms within the parks. They feel this will contribute to incidents and the parks are not an appropriate place for guns to be carried. The fact is that by allowing valid CWP holders to carry "Concealed" weapons they will not be seen by the general public and will also put that doubt in the mind of the shooter described above. The simple fact of allowing Concealed weapons within the parks will deter criminals like the above from taking action without knowing who else in the crowd might be armed. Imagine if valid concealed weapon permit holders were allowed to carry at Virginia Tech last year before that incident happened? The fact is that criminals DO NOT obey gun laws and the private citizen, with a valid concealed weapons permit should be allowed to protect himself, his family, and other innocent bystanders in public...

As of yet security precautions as shown in the above photo is not needed...