Vacation Airways  Boeing 307 Stratoliner  N19910               (c/n  2003)


                                           This rare shot is from the Brian Baker collection.   It is a very uncontrasty print and I have tried
                                           increase this to enable the white top to show.   Immediately below is an enlargement of the logo
                                           and tail number.  The photo was taken at Teterboro, circa 1951.  The Stratoliner had been leased
                                           from Pan American where it was the former 'Clipper Comet'.  I have nothing on Vacation Airways
                                           at all.  There was a Vacation Airways based in S an Juan, P.R. in the 1970s, but clearly this is a
                                           different outfit    .This B.307 may, in fact, have been its only aircraft.   It was only with Vacation a
                                           short while and then went to Area in Ecuador as HC-SJD-004, later just HC-004. When returned
                                           to the US (1955?) it became N75385 and went to Admiral Airways.   It was later (1956?) put into
                                           storage, although shortly afterward purchased from there by Wilbur Kelsey.   On 10 May 1958 it
                                           was taken out of storage and prepared for a ferry flight to determine fuel and oil consumption. 
                                           Auxiliary gasoline tanks were installed in the cabin, but had not been tested prior to the flight, despite
                                           fuel leaks of an unknown origin being previously detected.    During the flight there was an explosion
                                           in the cabin and fire was seen coming  from the accessory compartment.         A forced landing was
                                           carried out on a mesa with grass-covered boulders 15 miles from Madras, Oregon.  The aircraft was
                                           completely burned out, the crew of two escaping with their lives.