wy

Sheridan County, WY (KSHR) - 27 September 2006

At the remote northern reaches of Sheridan County Airport are two very rare Martin 4O4 aircraft with a very sad history.

Originally these were a group of four aircraft to be converted to sprayers and based at Buffalo Municipal 30 odd miles south of Sheridan.

In 1986 one of these aircraft attempted to take off from Buffalo with 600 gallons of pesticide loaded onboard. Unable to complete the take-off roll on the 4500 foot runway, the aircraft hit a 12 foot dirt bank and rolled onto its back and caught fire - all on board were killed.

It was later deemed by accident investigators that the aircraft was overloaded by 6592 lbs.

The owners' son was one of the party on board, and he was so upset with the accident that the aircraft were parked up at Sheridan and left.

In 2001 one of the 3 remaining aircraft was eventually flown out after lengthy repairs and tests leaving the 2 aircraft seen in the photos below.

The aircraft have been worked on sporadically up to about 2 years ago. As you can see one has no propellers and is sitting low on its undercarriage while the second looks, at first glance, to be in pretty reasonable condition.

Thanks to Airport manager John Stopka.



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Comments:
3rd September 2010 William G Thomas II
I was there in 1986.I was a friend of Clayton Curtis's son 'Stormy'.I noticed the 'overload' statement.The flaps were retracted too early,ground effect lift was all it got.I was a mechanic for EASI out of Belle Glade,FL. Now Airborne Support Systems,Houma,La. The Martin 404 was formerly 'The Dooby-Liner' Of the 70's rock band.Details are available through Old Props on the crash.