Left to right: Clyde Banks, photographer, and David Logg
on the propeller. Photo courtesy of Doug Powles Ultimatebook@aol.com.
and Digital Journey
into History and Art
From newspaper article describing
the attempt by air mail
pilot David Logg of Bellingham, Washington, to reach the summit
of Mt. Baker in 1920.
Failing to maintain altitude Logg coolly and deliberately
selected the best place there was anywhere within reach and
managed to check the fall by winging the branches of some trees
between which he settled into the bed of the creek. His decision
and management brought the trip to an abrupt finish without
injury to himself or his companion though with a total loss
of their plane by wreckage and consuming flames.
Logg stated, when interviewed later, that: "We were steadily
losing altitude in the light atmosphere, flying at about 3,000
feet, and the air currents were bad. Had moved to this side
of the valley so Banks could
get some close-up views and we were only a few hundred feet
above timber. We were hemmed in by mountains and when I tried
to turn round I found it impossible and brushed the tips of
the trees clearing one of the ridges This damaged our ship,
slackened our speed and made it necessary to land somewhere.
The creek bed in the next gulch afforded the only choice there
was to save our hides, so I cut out the gas, pointed her nose
down and landed in between the big, tall trees where I could
see running water."
Banks explained it this way: "I was busy snapping as many views
as possible, but when I saw what happened and realized that
the plane was crippled and falling with nothing but forest to
land in where we would probably be killed, I just made up my
mind that my time had come and complacently waited and watched
Logg without saying a word. He seemed to be taking it as cool
as in an ordinary landing and I could do nothing but wait. There
was a lot to think about but nothing you could do.
"The plane crashed through among the limbs without hitting any
tree trunks until just at the bottom it brought up suddenly
with a heavy jolt against two or three big trees smashing it
and turning it over.
I was thrown out, camera and all, without getting much hurt
and Logg came crawling out from under the wreck apparently all
"In a very short time the machine was ablaze. I found my camera
in working order and took some pictures, although the light
was not very good in among the tall trees. Logg and I fought
the fire and prevented it spreading to the timber before we
thought of going."
In their effort to find a way down the mountain to the trail
along the Middle Fork, the Thunder Creek gulch was so steep
and broken by cascades and falls that it could not be followed
so they took to the hogbacks.
After a couple of hours hard work they reached the ranger's
station and phoned into Deming and were met at Heisler's by
an auto and brought back to Bellingham. Though a failure,
this flight, like Colman's first trip to Baker, starts a new