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Ford Tri-Motor




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Excerpts from lead story in the Seattle Daily Times August 26, 1928:

" With six persons aboard a giant 14 passenger British Columbia Airways passenger plane, Seattle bound, was down somewhere between Victoria and Seattle last night. The plane was last reported seen over Dungeness before heavy fog set in at 11 o'clock yesterday morning."
Aircraft loss occurred on August 25, 1928. The lost were:
Pilot Harold Walker of Seattle
Assistant Pilot Louis Carson of Victoria
Passengers Thomas E. Lake of San Francisco, Far East Manager of the Union Oil Company

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander McCallun Scott, British statesman and his wife of London

Dr. D.B. Holden of Victoria

Dr. Floyd D. Soverel of East Orange, New Jersey

Dr. Soverel was a last minute passenger, purchasing his ticket and boarding the aircraft in Vancouver before it departed to Victoria and then onto Seattle.

Seven actually perished. The bodies of Mrs. Scott and Dr. Soverel (Originally not listed on the flight) were discovered washed ashore in Discovery Bay along with several of the wicker passenger seats, metal floor board and Mr. Scott's briefcase.

The pilot received his training as part of the US Army Air Corps, but he did not see combat in Europe.

Mr. Scott had been Winston Churchill's parliamentary secretary when Churchill was Minister of Munitions.

Naval Aircraft from Sand Point participated in the search. One Army Air Corps plane crashed during the search, but with only minor injuries to the pilot and observer. (Pilot was an Army Lieutenant and the observer was a Navy Ensign)

That plane was apparently repairable.

Initially (for a day or so) it was thought, perhaps hopefully, that the plane had been forced to make an emergency landing on land due to the fog and that they were just in a very unpopulated area and were having to hike out.

Note: While the search was on going, Charles Lindberg was visiting Seattle (August 28th) to promote US development of Aviation and inspect the new tri-motor passenger aircraft completed by Boeing.

US Coast Guard worked diligently to locate the aircraft and recover bodies. Operations were called off when the Airline determined that the cost of the aircraft recovery would exceed the salvage value of the three radial engines from the aircraft.

At the time it was the worst Canadian air disaster.

Ford Tri-Motor
Manufactured by Stout Metal Airplane Company (Ford)
Wing Span 77'
Length 49'
Height 13'
Power Plant 3 Pratt & Whitney 9 Cylinder, radial air cooled engines. Each providing 450 HP
Weight 13,250 lbs (Max Loaded)
Max Speed 135 mph
Cruise Speed 115 mph
Useful payload 2, 000 lbs
Range 550 miles ( 4 1/2 hours )
Fuel Capacity 348 gallons

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