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Full Name :   Vance Fowler
Gender :   male
Age :   72
State :   Utah
Country :   United States
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Didn't quite make it...
sub-category : Prop Planes
img 09-24-2010

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Masashi Goto was a young Japanese American living in Los Angeles when he and a friend decided they would become famous by being the first to fly a plane around the world.  They worked hard, saved their money and built their own biplane.  Masashi was to be the pilot.  He took off in early July, 1929 and people turned out by the hundreds to the Salt Lake City, Utah airport when he landed for fuel and maintenance.  He took off again and headed East over the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains, ran into extreme weather conditions with lowering clouds and thunderstorms.  He crashed his 14' craft into a rugged wilderness canyon near Wolf Creek in the High Uinta's.  It was the 4th of July.  A sheep herder found him quite by accident.  His remains were unceremoniously shipped back to Los Angeles and hence to Japan.  The plane, or what was left of it, was disassembled and sent to his partner in L.A. as well.  It was a sad day for such a planned moment of glory.  I happened upon this old memorial to Masashi standing in a secluded parking area in the mountain forest near that crash site so many years ago.  It is a peaceful place and a fitting memorial to a true aviation pioneer who is virtually unknown to the world.  Fly with the angels, Masashi.
 
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