The Award for the most crashable airplane goes to…

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by daveT, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. daveT

    daveT Member

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    The Award for the most crash-able airplane goes to…
    (or more correctly the aircraft with the most official accident reports on file)

    The venerable AT-6 Texan!

    Using MS Access and plane s/n count from AAIR’s USAF Accident report database.

    Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research (AAIR) http://www.aviationarchaeology.com

    AT-6D s/n 42-86321 holds the record at having 16 accidents reported during its service with the USA(A)F.
    The AT-6 Texan had that many mishaps because it was a teaching platform. Interesting to note that these 16 accidents all occurred post war between 1945 and 1950, at Randolph or Goodfellow AFB TX. Most were landing accidents. four accidents were rated 3 or major.
    I'm currently looking for photos of 42-86321. If anybody finds one please post.

    Other interesting facts from the database:

    3 planes crashed 12 times--- all AT-6s!

    6 planes crashed 11 times, again all AT-6s!

    7 planes crashed 10 times, again all AT-6s! (includes one BC-1 which was part of the Texan lineage)

    29 planes crashed 9 times—we are finally starting to see something other than Texans, though only 5 of the 29 are not Texans or their predecessors (BC-1 and BT-9s).

    62 planes crashed 8 times!

    149 planes crashed 7 times!

    328 planes crashed 6 times!

    863 planes crashed 5 times!

    A tribute to all the mechanics who repaired them and sent them back up!
     
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  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    And to all who flew in them

    would any of us even drive in a car that had crashed a dozen times?? ;)

    Bet nobody told the trainees but the instructors must have had ba**s of Brass :)
     
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  3. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the students flying these aircraft knew their history. ?

    It might have been a comfort to them, knowing the aircraft had previous repairable, survivable crashes, or might not have made so happy, thinking they were doomed to add to the number.

    I race a car that has been wrecked probably 20 times in the 14 years I've raced it.
     
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  4. grampi

    grampi Member

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    Didn't the ME-109 have a lot of crashes due to its narrow undercarriage?
     
  5. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    No more than any other WW2 fighter.
     
  6. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    #6 Elmas, Jun 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
    [[​IMG]

    Not only Texans crashed in flying schools...

    Texan was loved by its Pilots...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    you have to remember..like you said it was a trainer and the first where you could do some of the more advanced maneuvers. I think I remember my father saying it was the first plane that could snap roll. and for most it was the first plane they flew that had retractable gear...most went from the BT13 to the T6. after a couple hundred hours of not having to think about I dropping gear I am sure that was where a lot of the accidents came from.
     
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  8. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    So how does it compare in more than one country (ie worldwide)?
     
  9. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    When he says crashable , I think he means crash and be rebuilt to flyable. It doesn't kill the pilot, and doesn't destroy the aircraft beyond what can be fixed.

    The flying flea, probably ended up just a bunch of sticks on the ground, it's doubtful anyone tried to reassemble them.
     
  10. grampi

    grampi Member

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    No offense intended, but I find that hard to believe...the 109 had an extremely narrow undercarriage, which had to be a handful on the ground...
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The F4F Wildcat had maingear that was just as narrow as the Bf109 AND it was landing on a carrier deck...
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    They actually had a lot of trouble taxiing the F4F. The Landing gear had a lot of give to it (for landing on the carrier.) and the wing was pretty big, 2 3/4 feet longer on each side than a 109. Sharp turns while taxiing, wind gusts and goosing the engine could combine to put a wing tip into the ground. While embarrassing to the pilot it was hardly life threatening ( depends on squadron commander and crew chief :)
    There is a reason the F6F changed style of landing gear

    Just checked AHT a P-40 had 7in of shock strut travel, an F4F had 12.5 in of shock strut travel.

    There is a lot more to take-off and landing accidents than just the distance between the wheels.
     
  13. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    How about the camber of the wheels?
     
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  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The F4F's gear camber was fairly neutral, with the gear caster being slightly foreward. It's hard to see that when it's at rest (when on all three points) however.

    Here's a good image with a crewman for scale that illustrates just how narrow the Wildcat's maingear was:
    image.jpg
     
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  15. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Great shot Grau!
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The Wildcats wheels look like they have a little negative camber in then too. You can see it easier in the middle picture with the smaller tires.
     
  18. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    My point being that the narrow landing gear of the F4F, with it's relatively neutral camber, perhaps did not create the issues of the Bf-109, also with narrow landing gear but having great camber.
     
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  19. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    There is a big compromise with the undercarriage on a tail-wheel aircraft. When the tail comes up, toe-out turns into camber, so you can't really just looks at the geometry when the aircraft is sitting stationary on the ground, you have to look at how the aircraft was flown and landed (three-point vs. wheeler)
     
  20. chuter

    chuter Member

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    I seems I recall a marine talking about Navy F4Fs landing on their island strip (no recollection where) and all the guys turning out to watch the planes groundloop. The implication was that without arresting gear to keep the planes straight the Navy pilots were having to rely on their nearly forgotten conventional gear skills.

    The biggest drawback of narrow gear on a taildragger is the very much reduced effectiveness of the brakes which one resorts to about the time one realizes the rudder isn't enough. The Spitfire had narrower gear than the 109 but didn't have the 109's notorious directional issues because the gear was very much nearer the CG (further back, actually under the wing) while the 109s was way out front. The flipside was the Spitfire had a nasty propensity for nosing over (and couldn't do full power runs without tying the tail down) which was a trick the 109 never had a problem with. I think the Germans were intending that their aircraft follow the blitzkrieg and operate off of unimproved strips which would typically require a greater percentage of weight on the tailwheel. German tailwheels seem to be larger than on most other country's aircraft as a result ... I'm thinkin'.
     
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