U. S. Army Air Forces
Report of Major Accident

Report Number:

Location:  1 Mile West of Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Date:  25 May 1944  1206 CWT

Aircraft:  F-7A  (B-24J-10-CF) 42-64238
Station:  Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma
Organization:  III TAC Third AF  HQ 89th Reconnaissance Training Wing

Personnel Involved

P Hoefer, Carlton C. 2LT Fatal
CP Girard, Linel P. 2LT Fatal
N Callahan, Richard A. 2LT Fatal
RG Frey, John R. SSgt Fatal
F Hobert, Walter W. SSgt Major
EG Conner, George H. SSgt Major
G Baker, Lowell R. Sgt Major
FG Splawn, Roy L. Sgt Major
G Wallace, James W. Sgt Fatal
AG Leger, John G. Sgt Fatal
RI Cash, John V. SSgt Major
RI Watson, George C. Sgt Fatal
EI Ray, Pete Jr. SSgt Fatal


Description Of The Accident

Pilot called in for an emergency landing, but did not state the reason, and then was first observed northwest of the field circling to the left into the Number One engine which was feathered, but still windmilling at approximately 8 to 10 RPM, the airplane was at such altitude and attitude, close into the field, it was evident pilot could not turn for a landing.  The airplane appeared to be in a stalled attitude when south of the field.  The pilot lowered his landing gear,.  The airplane began to settle.  Pilot immediately retracted wheels, but the airplane continued settling and circling to the left.  The airplane was then observed settling behind the buildings in the north area, which would indicate that the pilot would have had no more than 50 or 100 feet altitude.

The airplane was next observed northwest of the field climbing sharply, but still circling to the left.  The airplane then appeared to stall and settle, with left wing down, struck a tree, left win tip struck the ground, the aircraft cartwheeled, immediately caught fire and burned.

Upon questioning immediately after the accident, flight engineer stated that Number One engine was feathered and Number Two was losing power to such an extent the pilot seemed unable to maintain level flight.

Subsequent investigation disclosed that the airplane took off with approximately 2400 gallons of gasoline and 13 persons aboard and had been flying for one hour.

The heavily loaded condition of the airplane appeared to contribute materially to the crash.  This aircraft was running a slow-time engineering flight on two new engine installations, Number Two and Four.  Ninety-one octane gasoline was being used and detonations were heard by witnesses.

It is recommended that 100 octane gasoline be used in this type aircraft, and it is further recommended that on engineering test flights a minimum gasoline load and crew be carried.

3 May 1944

G. Robert Dodson, LtCol, President
William T. Henry, Maj  Aircraft Accident Investigating Officer
George F. Owen, Capt  Member

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