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.....


Anonymous said...

That was a good idea to get the Scouts involved. I bet they had fun and it also increased your chances of finding the wreckage. I am sure they had some great stories to tell when they got home about finding the wreck. I was an F-15 Crew while in the USAF so this blog was interesting to me. I am glad the Colonels bailed safely.

Jim H. said...

Wow! I've hiked Humpback many times and never heard about this.

Can you describe how to get there from the trail?

Thanks for a fascinating post!

RightsideVA said...


Drop me an email and I have some other info for you.


நாகு (Nagu) said...

Our scouts are thrilled to see the reference to our troop. They had fun! I missed going on that hike and reget it now.

Great story!

Anonymous said...

I was the one in the green shirt. My dad is a troop leader for troop 735, so I got to come along. It was so cool to see the plane in person. Now I want to find more. If someone hasn't seen a plane wreck before, they should come se this.

RightsideVA said...

It is a very nice wreck for it's all in one small area and it looks like an airplane. I understand there is a wreck near Peaks of Otter and was a B-25 military bomber that went down in the 1940's and there is a monument there. I hope to hike to that one in the next month or so and will post photos here.

Anonymous said...

Where can I located your email address, I'd like to email you and get some additional information on finding the crash site from the trail. Or you can just email me at johnnylwoodie (at)

thanks a lot,

Unknown said...


I'm going hiking up to Humpback this weekend and it would be a treat to be able to located these plane wreckage sites that you mention. Do you have the coordinates or any additional information on how to locate them? Both the T28 Trainer and the Doobie Mountain site. You can email me at

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Steve, Several of us are going to try to find the T28 wreck this weekend. 10/30/10. I got some GPS coordinates from a friend but when he gave them to another group they were unable to find it.
Any help, coordinates or other info would be appreciated. You can email me at
I will let you know if we find it.


Anonymous said...

my family and i do a lot of hiking and i've been to the B-25 wreckage site...i would love to see this one!! if i could have directions to it that would be awesome. my email address is

RightsideVA said...

Unfortunately since these photos were taken several of the nice parts of the wreck are now gone. The Strut plate with all the info is one thing missing and it is a shame that others will not be able to see it as it was.

The numbers to this site was trusted to me by a friend and we fear if it becomes a public spot like the B-25 site the same damage will be done.

Anonymous said...

I am going up this weekend and would appreciate some help finding it I am at if you can provide me with some info. I think it is off the Alford (or Albrecht) Trail north of the eastern parking lot at Humpback Rocks. Thanks so much!

Unknown said...

I would like the directions to this wreck. My Vet friends and I often hike to the B25D wreck site on Veterans Day and place a Flag and flowers. I would love to visit this site this coming Veterans Day. I have hiked the area some but never knew of the crash until I read your post.

Unknown said...

i hiked the trail last weekend and was unable to find the wreckage. Can someone email me more information?