5 AUGUST 1945
CRASH OF A MUSTANG,

AT BOHLE RIVER

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Mustang

 

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A68-546, P-51K-15-NT, of 86 Squadron RAAF, crashed on landing at Bohle River airstrip on 5 August 1945.  The aircraft had only clocked up 5 hours flying time at the time of the incident.  The pilot, Flight Lieutenant P.M. Boulton, received severe head injuries.

On 5 August 1945, ten ferry pilots were delivering new P-51 Mustangs to 86 Squadron RAAF at Bohle River airfield. It was a windy day and after seven mustangs had landed, they taxied to the up-wind side of the runway at a location two thirds from the northern end of the strip. They threw up a large cloud of dust which drifted across the runway. The eighth Mustang to land was A68-546, flown by Flight Lieutenant P.M. Boulton. He approached for his landing on full flap, with his elevator trim in the tail heavy position.

Just as he touched down his vision was obscured by the cloud of dust blown up by the other seven Mustangs to his port side. He applied full throttle, presumably to take off and go around again. With the flap and trim settings that he had applied, the torque of the large engine literally rotated the aircraft around the propeller shaft. The Mustang did a half roll into the scrub beside the runway ripping the engine from the fuselage.

F/Lt Boulton was seriously injured, but later recovered in the Garbutt base hospital. Flying Officer B.A. Nott, the Flying Control Officer for the day at Bohle airfield, was very critical of all the Mustang ferry pilots. They showed no discipline in entering the circuit area, and they ignored red lights. Their leader landed against an insistent red Aldis light, then taxied against red lights and a red Verey flare.The Court of Enquiry blamed the accident on this lack of discipline by the ferry pilots.

 

REFERENCE BOOK

"Diary of WWII - North Queensland"
Complied by Peter Nielsen

"Aircraft of the RAAF 1921- 71"
By Geoffrey Pentland & Peter Malone

"86 Squadron 1943-45 - Men, Kittyhawks and Mustangs"
By Peter F. Howard

 

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This page first produced 15 June 1998

This page last updated 04 April 2002