Follow Miss Belle's restoration on our blog at


We've made some great progress on Miss Belle's restoration! Here's a slideshow with some recent pictures of our progress along with photos of the salvaged EC-1A fuselage (S/N 136783) now used as our parts plane:



AUGUST 18, 2002, 5 pm CST:  On their return trip from Skyfest Michiana, the pilot (Doug Goss) and crew (Richard Cronn, Bob Eichkorn) experienced catastrophic engine failure on the number 2 engine at an altitude of approximately 4000'.  While Miss Belle is designed for sustained single engine flight, the engine failure blew the number 1 cylinder, piston, and master rod from the plane, and in the process, severed the controls to the prop governor.  Lacking the ability to feather the prop blades, Miss Belle was unable to stay aloft.  With few options available, Doug was forced to make an emergency, gear-up landing in a cornfield near Macomb, IL. Through the combination of pilot skill and a healthy dose of good luck, the pilot and crew walked away from the landing without so much as a scratch.  Ironically, this accident happened on Miss Belle's 44th birthday.


Unfortunately, Miss Belle was not so lucky.  Prop contact with the ground damaged the good (number 1) engine, and stress to the fuselage is obvious .  While the extent of the damage is still being assessed, the crew at TraderAir have every intent of restoring Miss Belle to flying condition as quickly as possible!  This will be an ambitious and expensive project, and Doug and Richard are actively seeking donations to put this important piece of Naval history back into the air. If you'd like to help in the repair of this historic aircraft contact Doug Goss @ 785-266-6462 for details. 


Be sure to check back on the status of the restoration effort!


You can read more about the crash on this link from the Topeka Capital-Journal article.

Also, see the article written about the crash in the Jan-Feb 2003 issue of Warbirds International.




Images of Miss Belle - August 18 & 19, 2002


Close-up photos of the engine, cylinder and assorted fragments

front of cylinder base

top view of engine case

cylinder, piston and rod fragments

cylinder, piston and rod fragments

upper end of master rod and wrist pin

section of cylinder barrel and flange (cut out by master rod)

This engine failure occurred at only 192 hours since major overhaul!!


Trader Air, Inc.

phone. 785.608.4271

phone. 785.256.6366



All Portions Copyright @copy; 2008, Trader Air, Inc.

Updated January 16, 2008