9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Aircraft Accident Report 45-10-19-528

October 19, 1944, Thursday




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(AAR images from AAIR - Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research.)

Aircraft Serial Number (Type): 41-39145 (Douglas A-26B-15-DL Invader)

9th AF; 416th Bomb Gp; 668th Bomb Sq

Reason: Landing Accident (LAC)

Damage: Major damage (3)

Point Of Departure: A-55 Melun/Villaroche, France

Location: AAF Station A-55

Duty Name Rank S/N Status
Pilot Ames, William H. 1Lt O-753586 Not injured
Gunner Fessler, Herman S. S/Sgt 37559819 Not injured
Gunner Brown, Robert J. S/Sgt 15102500 Not injured

Pilot's mission: Local Transition.

Nature of accident: Landing accident.

Cause of accident: Nose wheel collapsed on landing.

Narrative: Completing a transition flight in aircraft A-26B-15, No. 41-39145, Lt. Ames lowered his landing gear in preparation for landing. The gear indicator indicated all three gears down; the red light went out and the green light came on. Consequently, Lt. Ames landed on the assumption that his landing gear was down and locked. He held the nose gear off the ground after making a normal landing. However, upon lowering the nose, the nose gear collapsed. The aircraft then slid on its nose for approximately 200 yards, and came to a stop on the runway. Both propellers were damages, and the nose wheel doors were buckled.

Investigation disclosed that the micro-switch box for the landing gear indicator light was rigidly mounted. Consequently, the position could not be adjusted properly in the elongated slots which were designed for that purpose. Therefore, the nose gear light indicated down and locked when the gear was only partially extended. The nose gear was not locked in the down position when the airplane landed. This nose gear had been repaired while this aircraft was attached to a previous group. Faulty repair work resulted in maladjustment of the retracting link, plus elimination of the bearing spacer in the assembly of the retracting mechanism. Consequently, there was too much play between the nose wheel down latch and the lower nose wheel retracting link assembly. Thus, the nose gear was not locked in the down position, and it collapsed when the nose was lowered. Faulty maintenance, rather than malfunction of mechanism was the cause of the collapse.

View information on "France-Crashes 39-45"
(in French)

Photos below courtesy of Captain Francis J. Cachat 416th Photo Collection

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