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View Full Version : SB2C Helldiver raised from California reservoir.



woofiedog
08-25-2010, 06:05 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Saw this story the other day.

The SB2C Helldiver aircraft was brought to the surface after days of work to free it from several feet of mud and debris on the dark floor of Lower Otay Reservoir, where it was spotted last year by two men using a fish finder.

The engine was bashed and blackened, the tail was chewed up, but the plane still looked every bit the war machine it was during World War II. It was hard to believe such a plane could lay on the bottom of Lower Otay Lake in 85 feet of water for that long and go undetected.

http://media.trb.com/media/photo/2010-08/187609180-20154857.jpg

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38783159/ns/us_news/

http://www.signonsandiego.com/...ed-thursday-morning/ (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/aug/18/helldiver-plane-be-raised-thursday-morning/)

M_Gunz
08-25-2010, 07:59 AM
It went down at the end of the war, the crew survived, the location was known and is probably on some map or note buried deep somewhere. There was no reason to raise it at the time and end of war they were pushing planes off carrier decks rather than bring them back, a massive waste of materials and work. Some post-war planes were salvaged though, the engines going into farm tractors and boats or the whole plane used for racing. But you know, better to get rid of good engines for the sake of jobs and the economy, etc so many planes and much else got the heave-ho. Somewhere down on the deep Pacific floor there's probably a fortune in near pristine planes, if they waited to get that far before dumping them.

Falcke
08-25-2010, 10:03 AM
Maybe it's just my imagination, but weren't there quite a few WW2 planes raised from American lakes in the past years? Is there a specific reason for them crashlanding in lakes relatively often?

M_Gunz
08-25-2010, 11:08 AM
Softer to ditch? And on land unless it's a road or strip you might hit soft dirt on the surface and dig in or find a rut, ditch, post, rock or tree stump. Though in some cases just under the water where a valley has been dammed up there's tree trunks but it looks smooth. And of course you're less likely to end up on fire when ditching in water.

I heard this advice long ago about going down, engine out at night: switch on the lights and if you don't like what you see, switch em off.

berg417448
08-25-2010, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by Falcke:
Maybe it's just my imagination, but weren't there quite a few WW2 planes raised from American lakes in the past years? Is there a specific reason for them crashlanding in lakes relatively often?

I think that part of the explanation is that the ones that went into the lakes are still relatively well preserved by being in that environment. The ones that crashed on land were destroyed upon impact, scavenged or rusted away long ago.

Nekoyorinekoze
08-25-2010, 02:19 PM
That's a few miles south of my house, about the same south of Gillespie airfield. Bout just as far north of Mexico. Prime flyin territory.

R_Target
08-25-2010, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Falcke:
Maybe it's just my imagination, but weren't there quite a few WW2 planes raised from American lakes in the past years? Is there a specific reason for them crashlanding in lakes relatively often?

USN did carrier qualifications on training carriers on the great lakes, so they pull a lot of Navy birds out of there.

horseback
08-26-2010, 07:02 PM
Lakes also offer calmer water & a short swim to shore in most cases. In this case, the engine quit while over a semi-mountainous area covered with thick low scrub and very few (if any) flat fields. In a Helldiver, ditching in a lake would be infinitely preferable to bailing out or crashlanding in a not-quite-wooded area dotted with big rocks.

cheers

horseback

trumper
08-29-2010, 05:42 AM
I don't know about this lake but most are fresh water and not salt water also preserving the metals better.
By the sounds of the planes handling qualities better it is left unrestored,just preserve and leave it authentic.

PhantomKira
08-30-2010, 02:52 PM
"end of war they were pushing planes off carrier decks rather than bring them back, a massive waste of materials and work."

Yeah. Reminds me of the British Corsairs (Mk I, II, and III). At the end of the war it was "the government's bankrupt, we can't pay back our lend lease loan payments on these planes. What ever shall we do?" To which the U.S. responded: "What planes? *Wink, wink*" At which time the Brits said "Aha!", and pushed them off the decks. They then proceeded to arrive back at port with large flat topped ships, for what purpose, nobody knew, for they certainly weren't carrying any aircraft.

Problem solved... at least until a little nation called Korea blew up and, gee, no airplanes.

What happened to many P-38's, the aircraft that was in production throughout the war:

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/images/p38-39.jpg