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Old 6th January 2019, 13:15
noggin noggin is offline
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16/3/44 P-38 42-68019

Can anyone add more details to this incident or details of 2nd Lt Wells : 16 March 1944 Lockheed P-38 Lightning 42-68019 piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Robert L Wells of the 77th Fighter Sqn 20th Fighter Group based at RAF Kings Cliffe ( assigned USAAF designation Station 367 ) lost power to one engine , the aircraft turned onto its back before crashing into Jasmine Cottage Thorpe , Nottinghamshire. Injuring its occupants Mrs Dannett and Mr George Kinn and killing bricklayer George Stansall, 62, who had been fitting new windows. The property was burnt down. Mr George Stansall death was due to heart failure caused by extensive burns sustained when the plane crashed into the house.

2nd Lieutenant Robert L Wells - baled out low and was subsequently badly injured. He survived to attend the inquest.
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Old 6th January 2019, 16:44
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: 16/3/44 P-38 42-68019

The book 'Losses of the 8th and 9th AF' has a few extra details such as take off was at 11.10H and the pilot initially climbed to 2500 ft on a local altitude test flight. After a while he continued to 25000 ft.
It was the starboard engine which caused the problems. Wells estimated his speed to appx 600mph when he abandoned the aircraft which at that time had started to disintegrate. No explanation of why the pilot failed to get aircraft under control.

No expert on the Lightning's single engined performance, but a qualified pilot should have been able to work out a problem like that. But perhaps there were more to it than just the basic facts listed in the book.

B Rgds
Stig
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Old 7th January 2019, 09:58
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: 16/3/44 P-38 42-68019

Something strange happened last night

I received two e-mails that Noggin had answered this thread, but when I now enter I can only see my own answer.

Both Noggin's answers related to the 600mph statement.
I agree that such a speed is very unlikely to have been reached, but that is what the book stated, most likely because that is what Wells said in his post accident report.

Can anyone explain to me why I cannot see Noggin's answers here?

Cheers
Stig
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Old 7th January 2019, 15:51
noggin noggin is offline
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Re: 16/3/44 P-38 42-68019

Sorry , I deleted it. Was relating to the feasibility of baling out at such a speed and survivability. The local paper report although only giving scant detail says the pilot was severely injured due to the low altitude exit. I think if he left at such speed the injuries sustained was due to that. Read a little more about P38's on one engine and although some details conflict they all seem to say they did yaw into the dead engine and then roll over. Thanks for the help Stig.
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Old 7th January 2019, 19:29
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: 16/3/44 P-38 42-68019

Aha

That explains it. Didn't know it was possible. Good to know if I have said some stupid things and want to deny it....

Basically all twin-engined aircraft becomes more tricky to operate (and land) if one of the engines quit, but I doubt the Llghtning would become uncontrollable, and being at around 25000 ft the pilot should have had ample time to correct and adjust his flying.

No finger pointing from my side. As long as I don't know exactly what happened, this is just a reflection on my part.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 8th January 2019, 14:01
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: 16/3/44 P-38 42-68019

Quote:
Originally Posted by noggin View Post
Sorry , I deleted it. Was relating to the feasibility of baling out at such a speed and survivability. The local paper report although only giving scant detail says the pilot was severely injured due to the low altitude exit. I think if he left at such speed the injuries sustained was due to that. Read a little more about P38's on one engine and although some details conflict they all seem to say they did yaw into the dead engine and then roll over. Thanks for the help Stig.
If the P-38 fell from high altitude at such a speed it began to disintegrate, a low level bail out is unlikely. It is still possible that the pilot was thrown out from the aircraft when it broke and then was able to pull out his chute.

A page on the Caterpillar Club of 20th FG (http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/catclub.html) says he baled out at 28,000 feet, but it could be the altitude of the initial issue rather than the altitude he baled out.
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