PN-9 Crippled after Nine Days Adrift

The first attempt to fly to Hawaii from the mainland United States, in 1925, resulted in a fight for survival and an amazing feat of navigation and seamanship. 

The U.S. Navy PN-9 making the flight burned far more fuel than expected. After missing a supply ship, Cmdr. John Rodgers and his crew had to make a forced landing nearly 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Honolulu.

Without a working transmitter radio to call for help, the five men had to improvise. They ripped fabric from a wing to make a sail, and Rodgers “sailed” his plane toward Hawaii. Ten days later, a submarine that had given them up for lost spotted them just off the coast of Kauai.

Caption:
The PN-9 after "sailing" to Hawaii.
Type: Photograph
Image Date: 1925
Image Taken: Kauai, Hawaiian Islands, United States
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Origin: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
NASM 2003-37199
 
The PN-9 after "sailing" to Hawaii.