ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 107811
Last updated: 2 October 2014
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Date:13-JAN-1943
Time:11:30am
Type:Lockheed P-38G Lightning
Owner/operator:United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
Registration: 42-12882
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Great Sampford/ 1m South of Great Sampford, Essex. -   United Kingdom
Phase:
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Debden
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On the official report into this crash held in the USAF archives it is filed under category "B" Collisions in full flight with objects other than aircraft. This has led to some incorrect listings as a mid air collision accident. The exact cause of the crash remains unknown but after the examination of the four eye witness accounts the USAF investigators concluded that-"The only witnesses to the crash, and to the actions of the airplane immediately preceding the crash were people not sufficiently familiar with aviation to give a clear and intelligent story on what happened (strange as one witness was an RAF Pilot Officer!). Cockpit and engines of aircraft were so badly damaged by fire that nothing could be learned from examination of the remains of the controls. Because of this no definite conclusions can be reached. It is assumed that there was engine trouble of some sort and that the pilot attempted a right turn either to try to reach Great Sampford Airdrome scarcely a mile away or to turn into the wind to attempt a landing on farmland. It appears control was lost in the turn possibly due to insufficient speed and the aircraft dived into the ground from a low altitude. One of the witnesses reported the P38 as "exploding in mid air" while the others report much the same as the above. Weather conditions were also ruled out from being any factor in the cause of the crash. So this one still a bit of a mystery and appears to have been down to some mechanical malfunction. No photograph of pilot or the crash site is available at present.

Sources:
Aircraft Accident and Incident Reports 1940 Through to 1948 as held by the Air Force Historical Research Agency in the USA-via Tim Heath of the MIA Group 2012.


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
05-Jan-2012 13:23 87.114.250.141 Updated [Total occupants, Total fatalities, Departure airport, Narrative]
23-Feb-2012 12:36 46.208.136.184 Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
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