416th Bombardment Group (L)
Aircraft Accident Report 45-10-28-530
October 18, 1944, Wednesday
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Aircraft Serial Number (Type): 41-39207 (Douglas A-26B-20-DL Invader)
9th AF; 416th Bomb Gp; 669th Bomb Sq
Reason: Taxiing Accident (TAC)
Damage: Major damage (3)
Point Of Departure: A-55 Melun/Villaroche, France
Location: AAF Station A-55
Pilot's mission: Local Orientation Flight.
Nature of accident: Taxiing Accident.
Cause of accident: Taxied into hole in runway. Right main landing gear collapsed.
Narrative: At approximately 0815, 18 October 1944, aircraft No. 41-39207 was being taxied from the dispersal area to take-off position. Bright sunlight, glaring on the wet runway, concealed a hole which was being repaired in the runway. Consequently the pilot, Lt., Stebbins, taxied the aircraft into the hole. The shock broke the down lock on the right landing gear, and the gear collapsed. As a result, the right propeller, right engine nacelle, and right wing tip were damaged.
Investigation disclosed that radio instructions on taxiing had stated that no taxiing was to be done on the grass, but that taxiing was to be confined to the taxi strips. However, specific instructions as to obstructions on the runway which was normally used for taxiing were not given. Consequently the pilot was unaware of the condition of the runway.