Left Wing

Along with the fuselage, 746’s left wing seems to have borne the brunt of the crash. It was torn apart during the impact and subsequent slide down the ridge, and its parts lie widely scattered across the lower debris field.

1. The section of the wing from the #2 engine nacelle inboard remains connected to the right wing by its tubular steel spars. This section’s upper skin has been mostly removed, either by fire, souvenir hunters or the elements, but the lower skin remains intact. The removal of the upper skin allows access to the wing’s structure, and makes many internal details visible. The #2 engine supercharger remains nestled in the wing, and appears to be in relatively good condition. The remains of the engine nacelle also hold many hidden details, including the left main landing gear bay, and remnants of informational stencils on the engine firewall.

2. Separated from the main wreck site lies a large section of the outer wing’s upper skin. This part spans the area from the leading edge back to the rear spar, and from the base of the #1 engine nacelle to just inboard of the wingtip.This part is particularly interesting because it includes remnants of the “Star and Bar” national insignia, the wing leading edge de-icing equipment, and a fuel tank filler port. The underside of the skin is also worth examining, because it shows many details of the wing’s construction, including at least three different colors of protective primer, and some of the original Alclad stamping on the sheet metal.

3. Also separated from the main wreck is another section of the wing’s skin that has not fared nearly as well. This section appears to be from the top of the wing, between the #1 and #2 engine nacelles, and includes such details as fuel filler ports and the outline of the #1 nacelle fairing. However, this part has seen some abuse since the crash. When the site was visited in august of 2008, this part and what is possibly a section of the fuselage had been bent and propped up to form a sort of makeshift shelter among the remains of a cabin from Tull City, a small turn of the century mining settlement that shares the valley. In 2012, the parts had been moved, but the wing section is still badly bent.

Other small parts of the wing lie scattered around the debris field, including the #2 nacelle fairing, and various other small pieces of the skin. Still more may be hidden in the upper debris field or in the mud that surrounds the main wreck site.

A note about the gallery below: photos are numbered according to the list above. Click on the photos to view larger versions and more information.

Coming soon: diagrams of where identifiable parts were located on the airframe

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