List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1925–34)

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This is a list of notable accidents and incidents involving military aircraft grouped by the year in which the accident or incident occurred. Not all of the aircraft were in operation at the time. For more exhaustive lists, see the Aircraft Crash Record Office or the Air Safety Network or the Dutch Scramble Website Brush and Dustpan Database. Combat losses are not included except for a very few cases denoted by singular circumstances.

See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft before 1925
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1925–1934)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1935–1939)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1940–1944)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1945–1949)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–1954)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1955–1959)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1960–1974)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1975–1979)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1980–1989)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1990–1999)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (2000–2009)
See: List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (2010–present)

Aircraft terminology[edit]

Information on aircraft gives the type, and if available, the serial number of the operator in italics, the constructors number, also known as the manufacturer's serial number (c/n), exterior codes in apostrophes, nicknames (if any) in quotation marks, flight callsign in italics, and operating units.

1925[edit]

10 February 
The 1030 hrs. crash of a Curtiss JN-6H, AS-44806,[1] ~2 miles E of Brooks Field, Texas, kills instructor 1st Lt. Arthur L. Foster along with Maj. Lee O. Wright. Foster Field at Victoria, Texas is later dedicated to the pilot on 22 February 1942. Foster's widow, Mrs. Ruth Young Foster, of San Antonio, Texas, unveiled a plaque that read "Dedicated to the memory of Lieut. Arthur Lee Foster, a pioneer in aviation who gave his life teaching others to fly." [2] Foster Field was designated Foster Air Force Base on an inactive status on 1 September 1952, by Department of the Air Force General Order No. 38, dated 29 August 1952.[3]
16/17 April
British airship R33 is torn loose from the mooring mast at RAF Pulham by gale force winds. Blown over to the Dutch coast, it rides the storm out with minor damage finally returning more than a day later.[4][5]
13 June 
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Frank White develops engine trouble, attempts landing on Burlington Island, over shoots the island and crashes his De Havilland DH-4B fighter plane into the Delaware River outside of Bristol, PA. Was rescued alive and in good spirits but died two weeks later in Harriman Hospital shortly after surgery due to internal damages. http://www.waruntold.com/stories/frank_white.php
31 August 
U.S. Navy Naval Aircraft Factory PN-9, BuNo A-6878, '1', flying boat disappears on flight from San Francisco to Hawaii with reported loss of crew.[6] The PN-9 was not actually lost, it was just overdue. After staying in the air for 25 hours and covering 1,841 of the 2,400 miles to Pearl Harbor, it landed safely at sea, the crew under command of Commander John Rodgers, Naval Aviator No. 2, rigged sails from fabric from the lower wing and sailed the final 450 miles, reaching Kauai on 10 September. This stood as a seaplane distance flight record for several years. Aircraft is repaired and shipped to San Diego, California.[7]
3 September 
U.S. Navy airship, USS Shenandoah ZR-1, crashed after encountering thunderstorms near Ava, Ohio after an in flight break up due to cloud suck about 0445 hrs. Fourteen of 43 aboard are killed. The ship's commanding officer, Lt. Cdr. Zachery Lansdowne is killed on what was to have been his final flight before reassignment to sea duty.[8]
23 September 
The U.S. Navy flies 23 Curtiss CS-1 floatplanes to Bay Shore Park on the Chesapeake Bay, 14 miles SE of Baltimore, Maryland, on a Friday with intention of an airshow demonstration before the 1925 Schneider Cup Race on Saturday, but that night gale force winds break three-inch mooring and anchor ropes on 17 of the biplanes and they are blown onto shore or dashed against seawalls, destroying seven and damaging ten. The next afternoon's Baltimore Evening Sun runs headline "Plane Disaster in Harbor Called Hard Blow to Navy" and quotes the ever-outspoken General William "Billy" Mitchell calling the loss of the CS-1s "staggering", and blaming it on Navy mismanagement of its aviation program.[9]
24 September 
During the 1925 Schneider Trophy race, British entry Supermarine S.4 loses control, is seen to side-slip, then pancakes into the Chesapeake Bay, landing on the front of its floats and overturning. Pilot Henri Biard swims free of airframe and is rescued. British officials intimate that the pilot banked too steeply and stalled, but designer R.J. Mitchell suspected that the cantilever wing design may have been partially at fault. Another British entry, Gloster IIIA, suffers broken strut between float and fuselage during taxi after landing from first run which allows nose to drop, propeller cuts into duralumin float, making airframe unable to compete. Lt. Jimmy Doolittle in U.S. Army Curtiss R3C-2, BuNo A6979, '3', wins competition with top speed of 233 miles per hour.[10]
9 December 
The 111th Observation Squadron, Texas National Guard, suffers its first casualties when Capt. Emil Wagner and Lt. Luke McLaughlin put a Curtiss JN-6H, 38105,[11] into a steep dive whereupon the port wing collapses and the airframe plummets to the ground at Ellington Field, Texas. Both crew survive the impact but die later in a Houston hospital.[12][13]

1926[edit]

10 March 
U.S. Army airship TA-5, operating from Langley Field, Virginia, loses helium pressure in its non-rigid envelope and drops into the Chesapeake Bay, nose first. No injuries to the crew who are quickly picked up by a rescue boat.[14]
22 March 
On its seventh test flight during tests at Taura Beach, Yokosuka, Japan, the Kaibo Gikai KB experimental flying boat is seen in a glide with both engines stopped, which steepens until it strikes the water in a near-vertical attitude, killing all four crew. Cause attributed to a malfunction of the flight control system.[15]
10 May 
Maj. Harold C. Geiger is slightly injured in a collision between two planes at Langley Field, near Hampton, Virginia. While attending the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, his Eberhart S.E.5e, 22-317, collides in mid-air during a flight formation with fellow student, Horace Meek Hickam's Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a, SO-8044. Hickam parachutes to safety, and narrowly escapes death. Hickam is initiated into the famed Caterpillar Club, a fraternal order with membership based on surviving an emergency parachute jump.[16] Geiger was also a member of the Caterpillar Club.
11 August 
Second Lieutenant Eugene Hoy Barksdale is killed when the Douglas O-2 observation plane, 25-350, McCook Field project number P-441, he was testing went into an uncontrollable spin over McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio. His parachute snagged on the wingstruts, preventing escape from the aircraft. Barksdale Field, later Barksdale Air Force Base, is named for him upon establishment at the Military Reservation, Bossier Parish, Louisiana on 2 February 1933.[17]
27 August 
Commander John Rodgers, Naval Aviator No. 2, Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, on a flight from NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C., crashes in the Delaware River near the Naval Aircraft Factory dock, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when his aircraft suddenly nose-dives and receives injuries from which he dies on the same day.[18]
12 September 
Curtiss XP-6, 25-423, the fourth Curtiss P-2 reengined with a Curtiss V-1570-1 Conqueror,[19] suffers heavy damage in a landing that results in a ground loop at Selfridge Field, Mount Clemens, Michigan. Pilot was George C. Price.[20] Repaired, the aircraft will finish second in the 1927 Pursuit Plane Race at the National Air Races, at 189.608 mph.[21] To McCook Field, Ohio, with project number P-494. Will crash on 25 February 1929.[22]

1927[edit]

19 January 
Second of two Naval Aircraft Factory PN-7 flying boats, BuNo A-6617, delivered 6 June 1924, is wrecked this date at San Diego, California, with total flight time of 423:32 hours.[23]
February 
RAF Cierva C.6C autogyro, J8068, based on an Avro 504K fuselage, constructed by Avro at Hamble, Hampshire, flown by test pilot Frank T. Courtney, suffers spectacular crash at Hamble in which two opposing rotor blades come loose in flight after failure of tubular rivet fitted in the rotor blade spar root, coming down adjacent to rail line crossing the airfield. Pilot survives.
February
RAF Vickers Virginia Mk II J6857 of 7 Squadron is damaged in a forced landing at Fakenham, Norfolk. The aircraft is subsequently repaired and rebuilt to Mk VII standard.[24]
27 February 
Capt. Clinton F. Woolsey, a Northport, Michigan native born in 1894, was considered one of the nation's best pilots in the Army Air Corps in the 1920s. He died a hero when he and his co-pilot, Lt. John W. Benton, were killed in a 1927 mid-air collision near Buenos Aires during the first-ever U.S. international goodwill flight to 23 Central and South American countries. The 22,000-mile tour took two months. Buenos Aires was the halfway mark. Woolsey probably could have parachuted to safety but apparently chose to ride his amphibian biplane down in an attempt to land because Benton was on the wing, without his chute, attempting to lower the landing gear by hand."I have never witnessed a more courageous sacrifice," said Capt. Ira Eaker, who witnessed the crash from his plane.
13 March 
First of two Naval Aircraft Factory PN-8 flying boats, BuNo A-6799, delivered 8 May 1925, intended for a flight by the Navy from San Francisco to Hawaii, is wrecked while being transported fully assembled on the deck of the USS West Virginia. Hit by heavy seas, the plane is lifted against its tie-down cables, which cut through the hull, airframe written off with 32:48 flying hours.[25]
21 March 
U.S. Navy Naval Aircraft Factory PN-9, BuNo A-6878, flying boat which executed record trip from San Francisco to Hawaii in August–September 1925, repaired and shipped to San Diego, California, crashes and sinks in the ocean this date with total flight time of 190:28 hours.[7]
17 May 
Major Harold C. Geiger (7 October 1884 - 17 May 1927), born in East Orange, New Jersey, a pioneer in Army aviation and ballooning, and commander of Phillips Field, Aberdeen, Maryland, is killed in the crash of his Airco DH.4B plane, 25-078. Six mechanics and officers at the Middleton Air Station, at Olmsted Field, Pennsylvania told The New York Times Geiger's plane took a 50-foot nose dive. Geiger managed to jump out just as the plane struck and burst into flames. He made desperate efforts to get clear of the wreckage and, according to the onlookers, half crawled and ran as far as the tail of the machine before he was overcome. There he dropped and the flames prevented the watchers from getting near enough to rescue him.[26] When the U.S. Army Air Corps purchases Sunset Field near Spokane, Washington in 1941, it is named Geiger Field in his honor. The Spokane International Airport is designated with the International Air Transport Association airport code GEG in his memory.
16 June 
A RAF Vickers Virginia makes an emergency landing at Shipbourne, Kent following an engine failure. The aircraft was later dismantled and removed by road.[27]
6 July 
The crash/ditching in the Pacific Ocean ~1 mile off of Fort DeRussy, Territory of Hawaii, of Boeing PW-9A, 26-353, c/n 778,[28] of the 19th Pursuit Squadron, from Wheeler Field, Oahu,[22][29] kills Arizona native 1st Lt. Charles Linton Williams (1898–1927). Higley Field, at Mesa, Arizona, is renamed Williams Field on 24 February 1942, and Williams Air Force Base in January 1948. The base was closed on 30 December 1993.
29 September 
Georg Wulf, co-founder of Focke-Wulf, is killed in the crash of the first Focke-Wulf F 19 Ente ("Duck"), D-1960. Second airframe is constructed, eventually put on display in Berlin air museum, destroyed in bombing raid in 1944.[30]
4 November 
US Army Air Corps Capt. Hawthorne C. Gray succeeds in setting new altitude record in a silk, rubberized, and aluminum-coated balloon out of Scott Field, Illinois, reaching 42,270 feet, but dies when he fails to keep track of his time on oxygen, and exhausts his supply. The record is recognized by National Aeronautical Association, but not by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale because the dead aeronaut "was not in personal possession of his instruments." Gray is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his three ascents on 9 March, 4 May and 4 November.[31]
8 December 
Prototype Curtiss XB-2 Condor, 26-211, assigned to Wright Field, Ohio in October 1927, crashes at Buffalo, New York after having logged only 58 hours, 55 minutes flying time.[32][33]

1928[edit]

13 February 
Sole prototype Blackburn F.1 Turcock, the firm's first fighter project in some eight years, an attempt to produce an aircraft equally suited as a land-based interceptor and as a ship-borne fighter, found no interest from the Air Ministry, but Blackburn built one as a private venture. It first flew (without guns) on 14 November 1927, piloted by Flt. Lt. Arthur George Loton, AFC, and having been purchased by the Turkish government was named the Turcock. Allocated the British registration G-EBVP for test and delivery purposes, it was destroyed in a flying accident this date. No other models of the type were built.[34]
17 February 
Capt. William Millican Randolph, a pioneer aviator, a 1916 graduate of Texas A&M University, and adjutant of the Air Corps Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, is killed in the crash of a Curtiss AT-4 Hawk, 27-220,[35] three miles NW of Gorman, Texas [22] after take off from Gorman Field. In September 1929, the Army Air Corps names its field north of San Antonio, Texas, Randolph Field for the Austin, Texas native.[36] Randolph was interred at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Ironically, Captain Randolph had been a member of the committee assigned to select a name for the new airfield.[37]
27 February 
Commander Theodore Gordon Ellyson, the first Naval Aviator, Lieutenant Commander Hugo Schmidt and Lieutenant Rogers Ransehounsen, crash to their deaths in the sole Loening XOL-7 amphibian, A7335, (an OL-6 modified with an experimental thicker wing), in the lower Chesapeake Bay while on a night flight from Norfolk, Virginia, to Annapolis, Maryland.[18] The Navy searches for the lost aircraft for a month without success. On 11 March the office of the Secretary of the Navy cables Helen Ellyson, "Very reluctantly yesterday the Secretary came to the conclusion that it was necessary for us to declare the officers who were lost in the plane with your husband officially dead. We had hoped against hope that something might be found of those officers living but it does not seem now that there is any hope left." On 11 April, Ellyson’s body washed ashore in the lower Chesapeake Bay.[38][39]
May
Sumitoshi Nakao becomes the first Japanese aviator to save his life by parachute when he bails out of one of two Mitsubishi 1MF2 Hayabusa-type fighter prototypes when it disintegrates during a diving test during official Army trials at Tokorozawa. Pilot uninjured. Because of the accident, further flight evaluations of the type are suspended and the other airframe is statically tested to destruction.[40]
1 May
Curtiss O-1B Falcon, 27-279, assigned at Middletown Air Depot, Pennsylvania,[41] crashes at Whitney Point, New York, this date.[22] Pilot Lt. Bushrod Hoppin is uninjured, but his passenger, Congressman Thaddeus Campbell Sweet is killed. Sweet becomes the first sitting member of the U.S. Congress to die in a plane crash. He and the pilot had departed Bolling Field shortly after breakfast "in a new Army observation plane" to fly to Oswego, New York, where he was to make a speech. Lt. Hoppin, known as a careful pilot, flew into a storm between Binghamton, New York and Cortland, New York.[42] He thought it best to land and selected a field on a stock farm near Whitney Point. The field was knobbly, and the airplane bounced and turned a somersault. Sweet, having unbuckled his safety belt, was pitched against the cockpit wall, and killed by a head injury. Lt. Hoppin, belted in his seat, was unbruised.[43] Sweet was buried at the Rural Cemetery at Phoenix, New York.
28 May 
U.S. Army Air Corps Fokker CO-4A, 23-1206, based at Langley Field, Virginia, piloted by Major George H. Brett, is damaged in a take off accident at Quantico, Virginia.[44][45]
6 July 
Douglas C-1C, 26-427, c/n 372,[46] assigned at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., piloted by 1st Lt. Myron Ray Wood, suffers engine failure and ditches in the Potomac River near the west shoreline, Washington, D.C.[47] Brig. Gen. Wood (4 December 1892 - 29 October 1946) will head the 9th AAF Service Command in Europe in 1944.[48]
20 September 
First prototype Parnall Pipit, N232, suffers structural failure of port tailplane in flight, crash lands at Martlesham Heath, Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) test pilot Sqn. Ldr. Jack Noakes (AFC, MM) survives, despite suffering broken neck when thrown from the somersaulting airframe.[49]
30 October 
1st Lt. Myron R. Wood has his second adventure in a Bolling Field-based aircraft in four months when he ground loops Curtiss P-1A Hawk, 26-279, upon landing at the base on the Potomac River's east side, Washington, D.C. Aircraft receives moderate damage.[50]
3 December 
The prototype Curtiss XF8C-2, BuNo A7673, crashes during a terminal-velocity dive,[51] just days after its first flight.[52] Another source cites the loss date as 23 December 1928.[53]

1929[edit]

24 January 
Surplus Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a, (original serial unknown), presented to Aviación Naval (Argentine Naval arm), E-11/AC-21, written-off in crash landing at Campo Sarmiento, Base Naval Puerto Belgrano, Argentina when pilot Alferez de Fragata Alberto Sautu Riestra approaches field too flat and lands short, collapsing undercarriage. Pilot uninjured. As the airframe was an obsolescent one-only on strength design, with no supporting plans or parts, it is scrapped.[54]
25 February 
Curtiss XP-6 Hawk (fourth P-2, 25-423, converted with Curtiss V-1570-1 engine), of the 27th Pursuit Squadron, is destroyed in crash at Selfridge Field, Michigan, after structural failure in a spin/stall with only 80 flying hours, killing pilot Andrew D. Knox.[55] This airframe had won the Pursuit Plane Race in the 1927 National Air Races with a speed of 189.608 mph.[21]
21 April 
A U.S. Army Air Corps Boeing PW-9D, 28-037, c/n 1022,[28] collided with a Ford 5-AT-B Trimotor, NC9636, c/n 5-AT-10,[56] operated by Maddux Air Lines over San Diego, California, killing all 6 on board both aircraft.
18 May 
During the 1929 U.S. Army maneuvers, two Boeing P-12s of the 95th Pursuit Squadron, operating out of Norton Field (the first airfield to be built in central Ohio),[57] collide over the Linden neighborhood on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, the propeller of 2nd Lt. Andrew F. Solter's XP-12A, 29-362,[55] cutting into the rear fuselage of 2nd Lt. Edward L. Meadow's P-12 (possibly 29-361).[22] Meadow is killed but Solter bails out and lands safely. Gen. Benjamin Foulois tells newsmen, "It's all in a day's work of the Air Corps. Although an unhappy occurrence, the accident will cause no change in the maneuver plans, which will be carried out as scheduled."[58]
4 September 
First prototype, of three, Gloster Gorcocks, J7501, experimental single-seat, single-bay biplane interceptor, first delivered to the Royal Aircraft Establishment on 16 May 1928, breaks up in the air near Aldershot this date, the pilot bailing out successfully.[59]
15 October 
Martin XT5M-1 divebomber, BuNo A-8051, during terminal dive test at 350 IAS at 8,000 feet, lower starboard wing caves in, ripping extensive hole. NACA test pilot Bill H. McAvoy staggers aircraft back to the Martin field north of Baltimore, Maryland, landing at 110 mph with full-left stick input. Aircraft will go into production as the Martin BM-1.[60][61]
14 November 
U.S. Navy Naval Aircraft Factory PN-11, BuNo A-7527, delivered 26 October 1929, catches fire at NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C., and is destroyed after only 13:06 flight hours.[62]
29 November 
Bristol Type 101, a single-bay, biplane two-seat fighter design powered by a 450 hp Bristol Jupiter VI, and later, VIA radial engine, is rejected outright by the Air Ministry due to its all-wooden construction. Continued as a private venture, it first flies at Filton on 8 August 1927, piloted by Cyril Uwins, registered G-EBOW. With the VIA powerplant, Uwins achieves second place in the 1928 King's Cup race at an average speed of 159.9 mph. Subsequently used as a company hack and as a test bed for the 485 hp Bristol Mercury II nine-cylinder radial, it suffers wing centre section failure on this date while being subjected to engine overspeeding tests, the pilot, C. R. I. Shaw, bailing out successfully. This was the last wooden fighter built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company.[63]
4 December 
Curtiss B-2 Condor, 29-28, assigned to the 96th Bomb Squadron, Langley Field, Virginia, crashes at Goodwater, Alabama, with 69 total flight hours on airframe. Pilots 2nd Lt. James M. Gillespie and Ernest G. Schmidt KWF. This was the second of three crashes of the 13 total B-2s the USAAC acquired.[64]

1930[edit]

24 February 
Replacement second prototype Parnall Pipit, N233, also suffers failure of tail unit in flight, this time losing both fin and rudder, Martlesham test pilot Sqn. Ldr. Sydney Leo Gregory Pope (DFC, AFC) bails out at under 1,000 feet over the Parnall Yate airfield, successfully parachuting down. Flutter of rudder due to heavy tail lamp in its trailing edge which both counteracted the large horn balance as well as substantially increased the moment of inertia about an unsupported hinge tube is cause, exacerbated by a lack of rigidity in the rear fuselage. Air Ministry regards the Pipit as wholly unacceptable, and this will represent the Parnall firm's last attempt to produce an effective fighter design.[49]
18 March
Sole Vought XO-28, 29-323, a U.S. Navy Vought O2U-3 Corsair taken on charge by USAAC for evaluation. To Wright Field, Ohio, with Project Number 'P-547'.[22] Destroyed in a hangar fire at Wright Field this date.[65] Joe Baugher notes that the USAAC record card does not mention any former Navy identity.
24 March
RAF Vickers Virginia Mk X J7709 of 58 Squadron is written off in a crash at RAF Worthy Down, Hampshire.[24]
Mid-April 
The prototype Hawker Hornet, J9682, crashes near Chichester while testing with No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Tangmere when it loses its upper wing after a mid-air collision with an Armstrong Whitworth Siskin of No. 43 Squadron.[66]
7 May 
Curtiss B-2 Condor, 29-30, of the 11th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, is wrecked at Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, but is repaired and serves until it is surveyed in December 1933. This was third and final accident involving the 13 total B-2 Condors acquired by the Air Corps.[67]
30 June 
U.S. Navy Douglas PD-1 flying boat, BuNo A-7989, of VP-6 in the Hawaiian Islands, is lost in the Pacific off Hawaii, only six months after delivery. Airframe had only 42:40 hrs. flight time.[68]
15 July 
1st Lt. Frank Benjamin Tyndall (1894–1930) is killed in a crash of a Curtiss P-1F Hawk, 28-61, out of Langley Field, Virginia,[69] near Mooresville, North Carolina. Lieutenant Tyndall was a World War I pilot, Silver Star recipient, and commander of the 22d Aero Squadron. Lieutenant Tyndall shot down four enemy airplanes in combat over France during World War I. Tyndall Field, Florida, opened on 13 January 1941 as a gunnery range, is named for him. With the establishment of the United States Air Force in 1947, the facility was renamed Tyndall Air Force Base on 13 January 1948. Tyndall was the second Air Service pilot to survive by parachuting, when his MB-3A broke up on 11 November 1922 over the Boeing factory, Seattle, Washington.
1 September 
Curtiss XF6C-6 racer, A-7147, crashes during the Thompson Trophy race in Chicago, Illinois, killing U.S. Marine Corps pilot Capt. Arthur H. Page.[70] The only military entry, Page gained and increased an early lead but on the 17th of 20 laps, crashed to his death, a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.[71] The Marine flying field at Parris Island, South Carolina, is named Page Field in his honor.
The wreckage of R101.
7 September 
Capt. John Owen Donaldson, World War I ace (eight victories), after winning two races at an American Legion air meet in Philadelphia, is killed when his plane crashes during a stunt-flying performance. He had won the MacKay Gold Medal for taking first place in the Army's transcontinental air race in October 1919.[72] Greenville Army Air Field, South Carolina, is later renamed Donaldson Air Force Base for the Greenville native.
5 October 
British rigid airship R101, G-FAAW, completed in 1929 as part of the Imperial Airship Scheme. After initial flights and two enlargements to the lifting volume, it crashed this date, in Beauvais, France, during its maiden overseas voyage, killing 48. Amongst airship accidents of the 1930s, the loss of life surpassed the LZ 129 Hindenburg, disaster of 1937, and was second only to that of the USS Akron ZRS-4, crash of 1933. The demise of R101 effectively ended British employment of rigid airships; the girders of the comparatively successful R100 were destroyed by steamroller, and sold for scrap.

1931[edit]

7 February 
Sole Boeing XP-15, (Boeing Model 202), NX270V, c/n 1151, accepted by the U.S.Army for testing at Wright Field but never actually purchased, so no USAAC serial, suffers propeller blade failure during a high-speed dash, unbalanced engine tears from mounts.[73]
28 February 
The sole Vought XO4U-1, BuNo A-8641,[74][75] first flown in February 1931, crashes this date, when test pilot Carl Harper is unable to recover from a spin. Initially trapped in the cockpit by the inertia of the spin, he escapes to parachute safely as the airframe comes down.[76]
6 March 
Following landing trials on a simulated carrier deck at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, the sole Vought XF2U-1, BuNo A-7692, was turned over to the Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia, where it operated from Mustin Field until it was damaged in a crash landing this date[77] and struck off charge the same month.[78]
10 March 
Lockheed Y1C-17, 31-408, Vega Model DL1B Special, c/n 159, assigned at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., cracks up during forced landing at Tolu, Kentucky during attempted transcontinental record flight by Capt. Ira C. Eaker, pilot unhurt. Specially rigged gas lines had leaked air which shut off fuel flow to engine. Wreckage taken to Wright Field, Ohio, scrapped 22 April 1931. Was the fastest USAAC aircraft of its time at 221 mph. Total airframe flight time 33 hours.[79]
15 April 
Keystone XOK-1, BuNo A-8357, disintegrates in dive during tests this date, during a demonstration before naval officials when a piece of its NACA-style engine cowling detached itself, smashed into the wings and tailplane, causing the airframe to break up in flight. Although the test piloted successfully bailed out, with the Berliner-Joyce XOJ-1 and Vought XO4U-1 (built to a slightly different specification) nearly ready for trials, BuAer decided to discontinue XOK-1 development.[78][80] Sole example of Keystone-built variant of BuAero design no. 86 for a light-weight observation biplane,[81] 40 of which were built by Berliner-Joyce Aircraft as the XOJ-1 or OJ-2.[82]
17 April 
The second of two Westland Westbury twin-engine test bed fighter prototypes, J7766, retrofitted with Bristol Jupiter VIII engines with reduction gearing, suffers engine-start accident at Martlesham Heath this date. With Hucks starter turning over engine, with the throttle accidentally wide open, the aircraft suddenly jumps the chocks and collides with the Hucks vehicle, being damaged beyond economical repair :struck off charge.[83]
5 May 
A Royal Air Force Hawker Horsley fitted with a non-standard engine for tests crashed at Farnborough when the pilot Richard Waghorn lost control.[84] Waghorn died two days later from his injuries.[84]
9 May 
Hawker Hart light bomber prototype, J9052, modified as a naval fleet spotter-cum-fighter Hawker Osprey to Specification O.22/26, returned to Hawker after trials, is wrecked this date in take off accident with crossed aileron controls. Orders for 133 are placed, in four Marks, serving in operational units until May 1939, as well as small orders for Portugal, Spain and Sweden.[85]
27 May 
Second prototype, of three, Gloster Gorcocks, J7502, experimental single-seat, single-bay biplane interceptor, first delivered to the Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1928, written off in a landing crash at Farnborough this date.[59]
25 September 
Douglas O-38B, 31-427, piloted by Lt. Robert Richard, collides in midair with another plane in a flight of three from March Field, Riverside, California, to Crissy Field, San Francisco. Richard and observer Pvt. Ralph Farrington bail out as the plane breaks up and are rescued by the other plane in the collision, undamaged, which lands safely 15 mi SE of Mendota, California. The remaining two planes reach San Francisco without incident.[86][87]
9 October 
U.S. Navy Keystone PK-1 flying boat, BuNo A-8516, is forced down in heavy seas and sinks.[68]
19 October 
Sole Lockheed-Detroit YP-24, 32-320, crashes during tests at Wright Field, Ohio. During evaluation flight, landing gear extension system fails with gear only partly deployed when in-cockpit crank handle breaks off. Through a series of violent maneuvers, test pilot Lt. Harrison Crocker managed to get the gear retracted and was planning to attempt a belly-landing, but upon orders from the ground, sent aloft written on the sides of Boeing P-12D And Douglas O-25C aircraft,[88] he bails out.[89] Four Y1P-24 pre-production models cancelled due to Detroit Aircraft's shaky financial situation. Two will be built as Consolidated Y1P-25s after Detroit's chief designer Robert Wood joins that firm. Second Y1P-25 completed with a supercharger as Y1A-11.[90][91]
14 December 
RAF pilot Douglas Bader (21 February 1910 – 5 September 1982), undertaking a low-level roll in Bristol Bulldog Mk. IIA, K1676, of 23 Squadron at RAF Woodley, Great Britain, hooks a wingtip, rolls the biplane into a ball, and loses both his legs. Undeterred, he returns to the air and becomes a renowned World War II fighter pilot with 22 credited "kills" before being downed over France, 9 August 1941. As a POW, he has such determination to escape that he is eventually sent to Colditz Castle for recidivist escapees.[92]
17 December
Boeing P-12C, 31-164, of the 17th Pursuit Squadron, Selfridge Field, Michigan, has midair collision with Consolidated PT-3A, 29-115, of the same unit, 2 miles W of New Baltimore, Michigan, this date.[93] Lawrence W. Koons in the P-12 and Charles M. Wilson in the PT-3 are both KWF.[94] The trainer had previously been assigned at Wright Field, Ohio, as the sole XPT-8A, project number 'P-564',[22] converted with a 220 h.p. Packard DR-980 diesel engine, but was restored to PT-3A configuration.[95]

1932[edit]

29 April 
Fairchild Y1C-24, 32-289,[96] c/n 6709, of Headquarters Flight, one of four Pilgrim Model 100-Bs acquired by the USAAC and used as an air ambulance into the late 1930s, piloted by James R. Williams, is moderately damaged in a ground loop on landing at Langley Field, Virginia.[97] Repaired, it will later be wrecked 5 miles SE of Front Royal, Virginia on 28 January 1937.[93][98]
10 May 
Sole Lockheed Y1C-12 Vega, 31-405, c/n 158, of the 59th Service Squadron, a Lockheed DL-1 Vega acquired by the Army Air Corps for service tests and evaluation, is moderately damaged at Langley Field, Virginia, while piloted by Thomas D. Ferguson.[97] Aircraft eventually scrapped at Langley Field on 16 May 1935.[93]
Stills from 11 May 1932 mooring incident: the two pictures on the left and picture at far right are of Seaman Cowart; the picture 2nd from right shows Henton and Edsall before their fatal fall.
11 May 
The USS Akron, arriving at Camp Kearny, San Diego, California, after a cross-continent transit attempts to moor, but proves too buoyant. The mooring cable is cut to avert a catastrophic nose-stand by the airship and the Akron heads up. Most men of the mooring crew, predominantly "boot" seamen from the Naval Training Station San Diego, let go of their lines but three do not. One man was carried 15 feet (4.6 m) into the air before he let go and suffered a broken arm in the process while three others were carried up even farther. Two of these men — Aviation Carpenter's Mate 3d Class Robert H. Edsall and Apprentice Seaman Nigel M. Henton — lost their grips and fell to their deaths. The third, Apprentice Seaman C. M. "Bud" Cowart, clung desperately to his line and made himself fast to it before he was hoisted aboard the Akron one hour later.[99] Akron managed to moor at Camp Kearny later that day. The stranded crewman provides the template for the very first rescue by George Reeves' portrayal of Superman in the first television episode of "Adventures of Superman", "Superman on Earth", first aired 19 September 1952.[100]
June 
Lockheed Y1C-25, 32-393, Altair Model 8A c/n 153, NR119W. First Lockheed to be equipped with fully retractable landing gear. Struck off charge after belly landing at Wright Field, Ohio. Hulk destroyed in tests of bottled carbon dioxide fire extinguishers at Wright Field, 27 September 1932.[101]
15 July 
Sole prototype low-wing monoplane Vickers Type 171 Jockey, J9122, is lost during spinning trials at Martlesham Heath when it enters a flat spin, crashing at Woodbridge, Suffolk, pilot successfully bailing out at 5,000 feet.[102]
15 November 
On first flight of United States Navy Hall XP2H-1 four-engine flying boat, BuNo A-8729, it noses straight up on take-off due to incorrectly rigged stabilizer, test pilot Bill McAvoy and aircraft's designer Charles Ward Hall, Sr., manage to chop throttles, plane settles back, suffering only minor damage. Incident occurred at NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C.. This sole prototype was the largest four-engine biplane the U.S. Navy ever procured, with a wingspan of 112 feet.[103]
26 November 
One of two Nakajima Navy Experimental Kusho 6-shi Special Bomber (6-shi Tokushu Bakugekiki- 6-Shi {1931} Special Bomber/Dive Bomber) prototypes, the first carrier-based dive bomber design in Japan, crashes in a rural area, killing Nakajima test pilot Tsuneo Fujimaki. Observers reported that the pilot made several attempted recoveries but each time the nose pitched down to vertical. Impact is said have driven the airframe two metres into the ground. Further evaluation of the type is suspended. For security purposes, the term "dive-bomber" was not used, the design being described as a "special bomber".[104]
16 December 
During a routine practice flight, Capt. J. L. Grisham flying Fokker Y1O-27, 31-599, '2', of the 30th Bombardment Squadron, is unable to get the port main undercarriage leg to extend more than one-quarter down, makes emergency landing in San Diego Bay off of NAS San Diego, California. He and Sgt. Clarence J. King survive, aircraft salvaged, repaired and returned to service.[105]

1933[edit]

8 January 
Kawanishi H3K1 flying boat, the largest design in the Pacific at the time, crashes while alighting at night at Tateyama on a training flight, cause given as a slow-reading altimeter. Noted naval aviator Lt. Cmdr. Shinzo Shin killed, as are two more of nine crew.[106]
13 January 
The sole Consolidated Y1P-25, 32-321, crashes during flight testing at Wright Field, Ohio, killing Captain Hugh M. Elmendorf due to a stall/spin.[93][107] Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, is named for him.
20 January 
The sole prototype Consolidated XA-11 attack plane, 32-322, breaks up in midair over Wright Field, killing Lieut. Irvin A. Woodring.[93][107]
3 April 
United States Navy airship USS Akron encounters severe weather and crashes into the Atlantic off the coast of New Jersey. Without lifejackets and only one raft aboard, 73 of 75 passengers and crew, including Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, are killed.[108] The Akron's Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawks were not deployed aboard at the time.[109] The new Naval Airship Station at Sunnyvale, California is named Moffett Field in honour of the lost admiral.[110]
4 April 
U.S. Navy airship J-3, A7382,[111] sent out from NAS Lakehurst to search for USS Akron survivors, experiences engine failure, ditches in the surf of the New Jersey shore. Two crew lose their lives.[112]
25 June 
Boeing Y1B-9A, 32-307, c/n 1675,[28] '190', of the 49th Bombardment Squadron, departs Logan Field, Baltimore, Maryland at 2020 hrs. on routine night training mission to Langley Field, Virginia, but experience difficulties at ~2200 hrs., attempts crash landing in the James River ~one mile from Rushmere Island. Bomber strikes water nose first, breaks in half, sinks, killing four crew including pilot 2nd Lt. Lewis Horvath and co-pilot H. W. Macklean.[113] Joe Baugher cites crash date of 24 June.
July 
First prototype of two Mitsubishi 1MF10, (Mitsubishi Navy Experimental 7-Shi Carrier Fighter), completed at the end of February 1933, crashes on test flight out of Kagamigahara due to structural failure of vertical fin. Mitsubishi test pilot Yoshitaka Kajima successfully bails out.[114]
9 October 
Prototype Martin XB-10, 33-157, assigned to the 59th Service Squadron, Langley Field, Virginia,[107] is lost when landing gear will not extend during routine flight, Lt. E. A. Hilary parachutes from bomber, which is destroyed with only 132 flight hours.[115]
10 October 
Fokker Y1O-27, 31-602, '3', of 30th Bombardment Squadron, Rockwell Field, California, en route from Burbank, California to Crissy Field, California, lands at Crissy with landing gear retracted. Both light and buzzer in cockpit that are supposed to activate when the throttles are retarded fail to function. Only serious damage is to the propellers but airframe is surveyed and dropped from inventory with 115 hours, 15 minutes flying time. Pilot 2nd Lt. Theodore B. Anderson uninjured.[116]
19 October 
Fokker Y1O-27, 31-601, '22', of the 32d Bombardment Squadron, Rockwell Field, California, during ferry flight from Rockwell to Brooks Field, Texas, pilot Capt. Albert F. Hegenberger, on leg between Tucson, Arizona and Midland, Texas, loses Prestone coolant out of starboard engine, engine temperature rises so he shuts it down. Forced down five miles short of Midland Airport, pilot does not get the landing gear completely locked down, collapses on touch down. Aircraft repaired.[116]
3 November 
First fatal accident involving a Fokker YO-27 occurs when pilot Lt. Lloyd E. Hunting with Sgt. John J. Cunningham aboard, departs Olmsted Field, Middletown Air Depot, Pennsylvania, in 31-589 of the 30th Bombardment Squadron [107] at 1800 hrs. after darkness had fallen. Pilot had apparently not observed a mountain ridge, 400 to 800 feet (120 to 240 m) high, one mile from the airfield, when he landed during the afternoon, and upon departure did not see it in the dark, crashing head-on into the ridge, aircraft burned, both crew KWF.[117]

1934[edit]

14 February 
First prototype Bulgarian DAR-3 Garvan ("Raven") (ДАР-3) two-seat biplane, first flown Autumn 1927 and rebuilt twice with different powerplants, written off this date in a fatal crash.(DAR - Derzhavna Aeroplanna Rabotilnitsa - State Airplane Workshop) [118]
16 February 
Crash of Curtiss A-12 Shrike, 33-244, in bad weather at Oakley, Utah, kills two crew, 2nd Lt. Jean Donant Grenier and crewmate Lt. Edwind D. White, while flying an advance route to determine time and distance for carrying the mail between Salt Lake City and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Their plane came down in a canyon during a snowstorm.[119] Grenier Army Air Field, Massachusetts, later Grenier Air Force Base, is named in Lt. Grenier's honor on 22 February 1942.[120]
16 February 
While on a familiarization flight for impending flights of the U.S. Mail, Lt. J. Y. Eastham (also reported as James Y. Eastman [119]) is killed in the crash of a Douglas Y1B-7 in fog at night near Jerome, Idaho.[121]
19 February 
"An hour and a half after leaving Atlanta with the army's first airmail plane, Lieut. E. T. Gorman, of Mitchell [sic] Field crashed at the Greenville (S.C.) airport last night after attempting five landings. He was not hurt. Circling the field in an effort accurately to read the wind sock, Gorman came in down wind at too rapid speed and overran the apron. His plane struck a two-foot hedge at the end of the field and nosed over, bending the propeller and washing out one wheel of the undercarriage. The mail was transferred to the northbound Birmingham Special leaving here at 10:20 and consigned to Charlotte, where it was to be picked up by a plane sent down from Richmond and flown to Newark, N. J. Gorman arrived over the field at 9:35. It took him 10 minutes to land. After skimming over the field, he crashed into the hedge and left one wheel in a cotton field that bounds the airport on the southwest. The pilot took off from Atlanta with the first army mail plane to leave that city at 8:15, Eastern Standard time, with an 'average' load of mail. The takeoff was delayed 35 minutes awaiting a mail ship from New Orleans. The weather was clear and cold throughout his flight northward. The plane was due in Greenville at 9:15 but was late because of the delayed start. The schedule calls for northbound army mail planes to arrive at 9:15 p. m., and southbound ships at 5:15 a. m. Observation planes are being used."[122]
22 February 
Lieutenant Durwood O. Lowry, of the 1st Pursuit Group,[123] is killed in the crash of an Air Corps Curtiss O-39 Falcon, 32-216,[124][125] whilst carrying the U.S. Mail, near Deshler, Ohio. His mother, Mrs. Dorothy Lowry Reisdorf, of Detroit, was quoted by the Associated Press, stating, "Good as they are, these Selfridge Field fliers shouldn't have to fly at night through winter storms over unfamiliar courses that it took months for commercial pilots to learn."[119][126] Lowry's plane, carrying a capacity load (358 pounds of mail)[127] on the Chicago-Toledo route, came down far off its course, in a snowstorm.[128] The observation plane nose-dived into some woods, but Lowry managed to "throw some of his mail free before the crash."[129] His plane was demolished and the mail bags were scattered for some distance behind the place at which the wrecked machine came to rest.[123] "Lowry's body was torn to bits. He apparently had attempted to bail out, but a knot in the parachute cord is believed to have caught in a part of the plane and trapped him. Marks in the woods showed that the plane struck the ground, went forward some distance due to its momentum, and then nosed into the bank of a creek in the woods. The plane was demolished. Residents of the vicinity said Lowry apparently had trouble with his motor and had circled in a search for a landing place. Charles G. Thurston said he heard the plane pass over his farm home shortly before 6 a.m. (E. S. T.) Then he heard the motor being cut off. He said he opened a window and then heard the crash. Thurston telephoned to the Napoleon airport and then went out and found the body and the wreckage. Cutting off the ignition probably saved the wreckage from being destroyed by flames. Guarding the mail to the last, Lowry threw several sacks from the plane before the crash and it was believed all of the mail was recovered. Coroner Guy G. Boyer of Henry county,[sic] was expected to have the body removed to Napoleon. "[130] "Failure of a wireless set to function properly contributed to the death of Lieut. Lowry, Capt. Fred Nelson of Selfridge Field said at Toledo. Far off his course in fog and snow on the Chicago-Cleveland run, Lowry tried to make a parachute jump near Deshler, O. His 'chute' caught on the rigging and he dangled there while the craft plunged into a creek bank. 'Any commercial pilot,' Capt. Nelson declared, 'would have been killed had he been up against the same circumstances which faced Lowry.' He added that 'radios have broken on commercial ships' and that 'you can't follow a radio beacon and stay on your course if your radio isn't working.'"[131] Of 30 Curtiss O-1G Falcons built, ten were refitted with a Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine and cockpit canopy and redesignated O-39s.
22 February 
"An unidentified mail pilot was reported forced down in the vicinity of Goshen, Ind., without serious mishap, and the mail was forwarded by train."[129]
22 February 
Flying the U.S. Mail, Lieutenant Charles P. Hollstein, "out of Cleveland for Washington, was forced down near Uniontown, Pa., in a heavy fog. His plane was damaged, but he escaped unscathed and the mail was saved, according to reports sent to Cleveland airport."[132] According to another account, he "suffered superficial face injuries, but after reporting at Uniontown, walked back into the hills to his plane and returned with the mail to send it on by train. He had been fifty miles off course when he crashed. Hollstein attributed his accident to a faulty radio." Hollstein was piloting Boeing P-12C, 31-235,[133] c/n 1351,[125] when he came down at Woodstock, Pennsylvania.[127]
22 February 
U.S. Army Air Corps pilot Lieutenant James McCoy, also reported as H. M. McCoy,[123] flying the U.S. Mail, departed Newark at ~noon, but landed his aircraft at Dishtown, Pennsylvania, in the Alleghenies, with a burned out engine two hours later. He was not hurt.[123][126] "His ship was smashed against a clump of trees but he escaped with a cut face."[126] He turned the mail over to the post officer at Woodland. "For several hours officers at Newark were badly worried for him."[123]
22 February 
Lieutenant Frederick Irving Patrick (16 July 1893 - 22 February 1934), a native of Decatur, Nebraska, is killed in the forced landing of Boeing P-26 Peashooter, 33-46, c/n 1822,[28] of the 55th Pursuit Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana, whilst on a flight from Barksdale to Denison, Texas, his machine coming down at a location described in one source as an emergency field 10 miles from Denison,[123] and as being only 1.5 miles S of Denison in another.[134] An Associated Press bulletin states that "his pursuit plane crashed into a plowed field one mile from here (Denison) at 9:50 a. m. today."[129] Lt. Patrick had been en route to Denison to visit his father on the occasion of his birthday when he experienced a throttle control malfunction. His death was the third air fatality for Barksdale Field. He was interred with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. "He had expected to go to Shreveport, La., today (23 February) to complete organization of the air mail field there."[135]
22 February 
"Caught in weather thick with rain and fog, Liet. Harold Diet [sic], crashed in a field near Marion Station, Md. last night (22 February) on his way from Newark, N. J. to Richmond, Va., with mail. He was carried to a hospital with severe head injuries. 'Take care of the mails,' he said to persons who had rushed to the place where his plane had been wrecked against a tree."[135] This pilot is also correctly reported as Harold L. Dietz, in Douglas O-38B, 31-437, coming down near Crisfield, Maryland,[136] at "about six o'clock" in the evening. "He was rushed to the McCready Hospital at Crisfield, suffering from a fractured skull and internal damages." He had departed Newark at 1600 hours after flights to the west had been suspended for several hours because of bad weather over the mountains with more coming in from that direction.[123]
22 February 
"Lieut. R. M. Barton, speeding along the Jacksonville-Richmond route, was forced to land at Cocoa, Fla., by a heavy fog. He made a safe landing."[127]
23 February 
A US Army Air Corps Curtiss O-39 Falcon, 32-219, assigned to the air mail service crashes in bad weather near Fremont, Ohio, with pilot Lt. Norman R. Burnett suffering a fractured leg upon descending by parachute. A news report states that "One ankle was broken and he suffered exposure to the bitter cold for five hours while dragging himself to a farmhouse."[137] According to an Associated Press item, the pilot was taken to Memorial Hospital in Fremont from where he reported his condition to superior officers in Cleveland. "At the time of the accident he was flying an empty run from Cleveland to Chicago."[138] Joe Baugher cites crash date as 23 August 1934.[125]
23 February 
Three Air Corps crew are forced down in an aircraft in the Atlantic off of Rockaway Point, New York, whilst en route from New York to Langley Field, Virginia, to pick up mail planes. Planes and vessels searched the sea off New York for the body of Lieutenant George F. McDermott, described by the press as the fifth flier to die in connection with the army's task of carrying the air mail. Forced down amidst "crashing waves", McDermott's two companions, Lieutenants J. H. Rothrock and W. S. Pocock, were picked up by the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Bernadou. They were reported to be "weak from exposure." The vessel could not find McDermott, nor salvage the disintegrating plane.[139] "McDermott, whose family lives in Greenfield, Pa., slipped to his death in the icy Atlantic hours after the plane faltered and alighted. His companions, clad in heavy flying suits and weakened by exposure, could not help him."[140] James H. Rothrock was listed as the pilot of this flight, in Douglas C-29 Dolphin, 33-293,[141] c/n 1184,[125] one of only two of the C-29 amphibious flying boats acquired by the Air Corps.
9 March 
An engine fails during a night takeoff causing a Keystone B-6A, 32-148,[142] to crash near Daytona, Florida, shortly after departing the airport there, while carrying U.S. Mail. Passenger Pvt. Ernest B. Sell is killed.[143] "Liet. W. M. Reid, and Floyd Marshall, a private, were injured. The motors failed and the plane fell in a heavily wooden section two miles south of this city."[144]
9 March 
The crash of Curtiss O-39 Falcon, 32-217,[124] near Burton, Ohio, kills Lt. Otto Wienecke, while flying the U.S. Mail.[143] Datelined from Chardon, Ohio, an Associated Press account states, "Army Air Mail Pilot Otto Wienecke, flying from Newark, N. J., to Cleveland with the mail, crashed to his death in the midst of a heavy snow squall this morning on a farm northwest of Burton, near here. Chardon is about 20 miles directly east of Cleveland. The plane was destroyed, but ten bags of mail were salvaged and brought to the postoffice [sic] here. John Hess, a farmer in whose pasture the plane crashed, said he and several neighbors heard the plane's motors about 5 a. m. (EST). It apparently was sputtering, and Hess rushed out in time to see the crash. Coroner Philip Pease reported looking at the ship's altimeter and finding a reading of 600 feet. Hess said Wienecke apparently had no opportunity to save himself. His safety belt was still hooked when the farmer reached his side. Hess declared the snow was coming down in a heavy swirl at the time of the accident. Since the army took over the mail flights, six other army pilots have been killed, either while flying mail, making unofficial flights, or reporting to army posts."[145]
9 March 
A Douglas O-38E, 34-18,[146] flying U.S. Mail crashes "in flames" on takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyoming, killing Lts. F. L. Howard and A. R. Kerwin.[143] The Associated Press reported that "The fliers killed last night, Lieuts. A. R. Kerwin of March Field, Calif., and F. L. Howard of Shreveport, La., were seeking to familiarize themselves with the Cheyenne-Salt Lake City route when the plane plunged in the darkness and hit the power line."[147]
9 March 
"Hartsville, S. C., Mar. 10. (AP) - Three army mail fliers who became lost last night en route from Richmond to Miami when their radio went bad landed near here in rain and fog early today with only a slight damage to the ship and no injuries to its occupants. The craft was piloted by Lieut. Allen of Michigan. With him were Sgt. Harry Shilling, a native of Harrisburg, Pa., but now living in Richmond, and a corporal who was taken on the ship at Washington. Immediately after bringing the mail here and sending it to Florence 25 miles away, by motor, the men went to sleep in the rear of the postoffice [sic] and authorities refused to rouse them for questioning. Shilling, however, had said Allen - whose first name he did not know - was piloting the ship. The sergeant did not know the name of the corporal. Shilling said they left Richmond last night about 8:30 and expected to land at Florence, but their radio went bad and they cruised about until they found the landing field near here."[148]
30 March 
While on landing approach to Davenport, Iowa, Lt. Thurmond A. Wood, flying U.S. Mail in a Curtiss A-12 Shrike, 33-246, enters a severe thunderstorm. Attempting to reverse course, he loses control and spins in at DeWitt, Iowa,[149] with fatal result.[143] This was the twelfth Army death in the effort to fly the mail.[150]
14 April 
The Wright Cyclone-powered prototype Polikarpov TsKB-12 is damaged when one of the landing gear legs collapses while taxiing. It first flew on 30 December 1933.
15 April 
While flying the U.S. Mail, 1st Lt. Arthur Lahman's engine on his Douglas O-38B, 31-435, '22', of Headquarters Command, Bolling Field, cuts out on approach to Newark, New Jersey, and crashes in a field. Pilot uninjured but airframe written off.[151] Pilot name also reported spelt Arthur J. Lehman.[152]
11 May 
Sole prototype of U.S. Navy Douglas XO2D-1, BuNo 9412, noses over on water landing near NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C., after starboard landing gear would not retract, nor support runway landing. Pilot survives. Aircraft salvaged, rebuilt, but no production contract let.[153]
June 
Second prototype of two Mitsubishi 1MF10 Experimental 7-Shi carrier fighters, crashes when it enters irrecoverable flat spin. Test pilot Lt. Motoharu Okamura bails out, but loses four fingers in the accident, jeopardizing his career as a fighter pilot. As a Navy captain, he later commands the 341st (Tateyama) Kōkūtai for kamikaze attacks in June 1944.[15]
14 June 
United States Navy Curtiss XSBC-1 Helldiver, BuNo 9225, crashed at Lancaster, New York. Rebuilt, it will crash again in September.
27 July 
First prototype Messerschmitt Bf 108A, D-LBUM, accepted by the Luftwaffe for competition flying, crashes, killing the pilot, a member of Erhard Milch's staff at the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Ministry of Aviation).[154][155]
September 
The Curtiss XSBC-1 Helldiver, BuNo 9225, crashes again, this time when a wing-fold mechanism fails, allowing wing to sweep back in flight. Airframe destroyed. Redesigned new-build airframe as XSBC-2 received same Navy serial.[156]
3 September 
Fokker Y1O-27, 31-599, of the 12th Observation Squadron, Brooks Field, Texas, crashes 5 miles W of Danville, Louisiana after starboard engine loses power. Pilot Cadet Neil M. Caldwell and passenger Pvt. Betz Baker die in crash and fire, passenger Pvt. Virgil K. Martin, riding in rear cockpit, survives with minor injuries. This aircraft has previously ditched in San Diego Bay, California on 16 December 1932.[157][158]
3 October 
Martin B-12A, 33-171, c/n 545, of the 11th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, crashed into Inyo National Forest, California, 3 killed, one bailed out. Surveyed at March Field, California, 7 January 1935. This accident resulted in the grounding of all B-12s. Fault traced to wing and aileron flutter and a backlash developed by the props when the engine was shut down.[159]
31 October 
First prototype Tupolev ANT-40RT suffers engine problems on flight test out of TsAGI (Tsentral'nyy Aerodinamicheskiy i Gidrodinamicheskiy Institut- central aerodynamics and hydrodynamics institute), and pilot K. K. Popov makes a wheels-up forced landing at Khodynka Aerodrome. Repairs take until February 1935. It had made its first flight on 7 October.[160]
5 November 
Pioneer Air Service aviator Col. Horace Meek Hickam, (1885–1934), dies when his Curtiss A-12 Shrike, 33-250, of the 60th Service Squadron,[161] strikes an obstruction during night landing practice on the unlighted field at Fort Crockett, Texas, overturns. "The field at Fort Crockett, Texas, home of the 3rd Attack Group, was too short. Because of its smallness and the roughness of its southern end, planes landing to the south, even against a light wind, made it a point to touch down between its boundary lights-the field's only lights-just beyond the shallow embankment of its northern threshold. On the evening of November 5, Air Reserve Second Lieutenants Harry N. Renshaw and Andrew N. Wynne were standing on the porch of Group Operations talking to Captain Charles C. Chauncey, the Operations Officer, watching Uncle Horace Hickam shooting night landings in his Curtiss A-12. It was close to eight o'clock as they observed the Colonel coming in for his second touchdown. They realized he was low and was going to undershoot. So did Hickam. He applied power to correct the error and then chopped it off too soon. The watchers saw the A-12's wheels hit the embankment just below its top, saw the plane flipped on its nose, skidding along the ground, the weight of its engine tearing up the turf, and then saw it snap over on its back, slewing completely around. The three men were running toward the aircraft before the sound had died. Wynne arrived first, yelling, "Colonel, are you hurt? Can you hear me?" There was no answer. The cockpit rim was flat on the ground. A group of enlisted men came charging up, followed by the crash truck and an ambulance. Even after Renshaw had driven the cab of the ambulance under the broken tail fin, with the men holding up the fuselage, they could not get Hickam free of the cockpit. It was necessary to dig a trench to do that. By the time Renshaw and Wynne had managed to get the Colonel out of his parachute and onto a litter, Captain Byrnes, the base doctor, had arrived. While the ambulance raced to the Marine Hospital, Byrnes did what he could, but it was too late. Renshaw believed his CO was dead before they had managed to free him from the cockpit."[162] Hickam Field, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, named for him 21 May 1935.[163]
12 December 
Fokker YO-27, 31-588, of the 12th Observation Squadron, Brooks Field, Texas, belly-lands at Brooks this date. Airframe surveyed and dropped from inventory, 7 March 1935, total flight time 296 hours.[164]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1925 US Army Air Service Accident Reports. Aviationarchaeology.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-05.
  2. ^ Victoria, Texas, "U.S. Honors Pioneer In Aviation Who Died Teaching Others to Fly", Victoria Advocate, Sunday 22 February 1942, Volume 44, Number 230, Section 1, pp.1-2.
  3. ^ Roell, Craig H. "Foster Army Air Field". The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  4. ^ 1926 Aircraft Year Book, Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America, Inc., New York City, page 118.
  5. ^ "R33 - G F A A G - 1921-1928 : The Breakaway" The Airship Heritage Trust
  6. ^ Maurer Maurer, "Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919-1939", United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1987, ISBN 0-912799-38-2, p. 128.
  7. ^ a b Bowers, Peter M., "Sea Wings Pt. I - Curtiss' Beautiful Biplane Boats - From America to PH-3", Airpower, Granada Hills, California, September 1975, Volume 5, Number 5, p. 52.
  8. ^ Vaeth, J. Gordon, "They Sailed the Skies: U.S. Navy Balloons and the Airship Program", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2005, ISBN 1-59114-914-2, pp.32-33.
  9. ^ Gough, Michael, "Doolittle Wins In Baltimore", Airpower, November 2005, Volume 35, Number 11, p. 50.
  10. ^ Gough, Michael, "Doolittle Wins In Baltimore", Airpower, November 2005, Volume 35, Number 11, pp.50-56.
  11. ^ 1925 US Army Air Service Accident Reports
  12. ^ Houston Chronicle, 10 December 1925.
  13. ^ Ellington Field a Short History 1917-1963
  14. ^ Curtis, Robert I., Mitchell, John, and Copp, Martin, "Langley Field, The Early Years 1916-1946", Office of History, 4500th Air Base Wing, Langley AFB, Virginia, 1977, page 97.
  15. ^ a b Mikesh, Robert C., and Abe, Shorzoe, "Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1990, ISBN 1-55750-563-2, p. 59.
  16. ^ Horace Meek Hickam, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Air Corps at www.arlingtoncemetery.net
  17. ^ Mueller, Robert, "Air Force Bases Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982", United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1989, ISBN 0-912799-53-6, p. 15.
  18. ^ a b Grossnick, Roy A.; et al. (1997). "Part 3, The Twenties 1920-1929". United States Naval Aviation 1910-1995. Washington DC: Naval Historical Center. p. 47. 
  19. ^ Factsheets : Curtiss P-2
  20. ^ 1926 US Army Air Service/USAAC Accident Reports
  21. ^ a b Bowers, Peter M., "The Great Fighter Fly-Offs: Curtiss vs. Boeing", Wings, Granada Hills, California, February 2001, Volume 31, Number 1, p. 9.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g 1922-1929 USAAS-USAAC Serial Numbers
  23. ^ Bowers, Peter M., "Sea Wings - Pt. I - Curtiss' Beautiful Biplane Boats - From America to PH-3", Airpower, Granada Hills, California, September 1975, Volume 5, Number 5, p. 50.
  24. ^ a b "Database Vickers Virginia". Aeroplane (Peterborough: Kelsey Publishing) (September 2012): pp69–84. ISSN 0143-7240. 
  25. ^ Bowers, Peter M., "Sea Wings - Pt. I - Curtiss' Beautiful Biplane Boats - From America to PH-3", Airpower, Granada Hills, California, September 1975, Volume 5, Number 5, p. 51.
  26. ^ "Major Geiger, Commander of Aberdeen (Md.) Field, Is Burned to Death. Accident Occurs at Olmstead Field, Pa. Was a Native of East Orange, N.J.". New York Times. May 18, 1927. Retrieved 2009-02-22. Apparently only slightly hurt when his De Haviland plane took a fifty-foot nose dive, Major Harold Geiger, commandant of Phillips Air Field at Aberdeen, Md., could not extricate himself before the machine burst into flames and he was burned to death at Olmstead Field, near here, at noon today. 
  27. ^ Chapman, Frank (2005). SHIPBOURNE Life and times. Frank Chapman. pp. 21–22. 
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  41. ^ 1928 USAAC Accident Reports
  42. ^ "T. C. Sweet Killed In Airplane Crash. Congressman Meets Almost Instant Death in Landing Upset at Whitney Point, N.Y. On Hop From Washington. Army Pilot Is Slightly Hurt. National and State Leaders Honor House Member". New York Times. May 2, 1928. Retrieved 2011-05-21. Thaddeus C. Sweet of Phoenix, N.Y., Representative in Congress from the Thirty-second District, was killed ... 
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  44. ^ http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1940sB4/1928.htm
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  120. ^ "1930-1937 USAAS Serial Numbers". Joebaugher.com. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
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  122. ^ Anderson, South Carolina, "Bad Break Given New Mail Fliers", The Record, Tuesday 20 February 1934, Volume 3, pages 1,2.
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External links[edit]