COLLECTING AIR CRASH COVERS
Air crash covers are covers that have survived a crash or incomplete flight due to an aircraft accident resulting in damage to or destruction of the aircraft, with mails (if not lost or destroyed) forwarded by other aircraft or other means (sometimes referred to as “recovered mail” or “salvaged mail”). Interrupted
covers are those recovered from a flight which is interrupted or delayed enroute, resulting in an unscheduled or force
d landing, usually due to adverse weather conditions or an aircraft mechanical problem, or the flight was continued later by the same aircraft, or to expedite mail, by another aircraft.
Collectable mail from crashes or interrupted flights is that which is capable of identification by postmark(s) and routing, physical damage, special cachets, labels or official memoranda.
There are two primary references which list air crash covers. They are the American Air Mail Catalogue, 6th Edition, Volume 1, published in 1998, and “Courrier Récupéré/Recovered Mail” by Henri Nierinck, published in 1992 & 1995. “Recovered Mail” is presently being completely revised and updated, and it will incorporate the American Air Mail Catalogue listings, and will cover the entire world.
Most collectors of crash covers specialize in a particular area, such as the USA, Europe, Africa, Asia or South America. Some collectors cover one country, or a specific airline, such as Pan American World Airways, TWA, American Airlines, etc.
There is a specialist society for collecting crash covers, which is the Wreck & Crash Mail Society. It covers all aspects of crash & wreck mail, e.g. air crash covers, train wreck covers, ship wreck covers, and covers from natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, or avalanches, as well as terrorism, aircraft hijackings, wars, mail robberies, etc. The Wreck & Crash Mail Society publishes a quarterly journal “La Catastrope”. Information about the Society is available on their website at: http://wreckandcrash.org, and from the journal editor Ken Sanford, 613 Championship Dr., Oxford, CT 06478-3128 – email: firstname.lastname@example.org