Historic Aircraft Wrecks of Los Angeles County – G. Pat Macha


speaker_Macha01A century of aviation research and military flights over Los Angeles County has left the San Gabriel Mountains, Mojave Desert and the near-shore Pacific Ocean strewn with more than 1,500 aircraft crash sites. Barnstormers and test pilots too often made unexpected final landings. Accidents occurred on a nearly daily basis during World War II training maneuvers. Private planes, a sign of 1950s prosperity, also met tragic ends. These epic incidents include the 1971 tragedy of Flight 706 in which an airliner collided with a marine fighter jet above Mount Bliss, killing fifty people. Renowned aircraft crash search specialist G. Pat Macha recounts dozens of sorrowful, triumphant and surprising true stories of those who lived through these ordeals while offering touching tributes to those who did not. G. Pat Macha is a retired high school history and geography teacher who has explored the mountains and deserts of the western states for fifty years in search of aircraft wrecks. He has authored three books in the field of aircraft archeology, produced a video on wreck finding and hosted the History Channel program, “Broken Wings”. speaker_Macha02He was also a contributor for the Smithsonian Channel’s “Mystery of the Nevada Triangle”. He is a noted public speaker, lecturing on aviation safety and archeology to a wide range of audiences. Pat has been the coordinator since 1997 in the search for missing Women Air Force Service Pilot (WASP) Gertrude “Tommy” Tompkins Silver. Pat is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, San Diego Air & Space Museum, and the Western Museum of Flight.


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