CRASH OF A P-47-D-4-RA THUNDERBOLT
AT MACKAY AIRFIELD, QLD
ON 29 NOVEMBER 1943

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P-47-D-4-RA Thunderbolt #42-22704 of the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, Fifth Air Force, piloted by 2nd Lt. John C. McLean (0-743356) crashed at Mackay Airfield at 1318 L hours on 29 November 1943 while on a Ferry flight from APO 923 (Brisbane) to APO 922 (Townsville).

The pilot landed "too hot" and the aircraft was unable to stop at the end of the runway and continued to roll into a ditch.

About 2 1/2 hours out of Eagle Farm Airfield in Brisbane, the pilot, 2nd Lt. John C. McLean stated that the propeller was surging excessively (200 rpm surge). Thinking it was an electrical problem, 2nd Lt McLean placed his propeller into manual control. This did not help and the engine surges got worse, surging from 500 rpm to 600 rpm and sputtering.

While circling Mackay, the engine began to miss, necessitating a landing at Mackay Airfield. He lowered the landing gear and flaps but could not slow the aircraft up enough to land safely on the short runway. When he touched down he applied the brakes but ran off the end of the runway and ran into a ditch. Some sheet metal work and the propeller were damaged in this accident. The pilot was unhurt.

Apparently the propeller governors on these new aircraft were often sluggish. This was often fixed by cleaning the governor. The pilot was apparently not that familiar with this model of aircraft.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Nev Allan for providing me with a copy of the crash report for this accident.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 1 July 2009

This page last updated 06 August 2018