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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 104231
Last updated: 16 June 2020
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Date:19-FEB-1942
Time:17:00
Type:Curtiss-Wright AT-9 Jeep
Owner/operator:337th School Sqn USAAF
Registration: 41-5803
C/n / msn: 59
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mather Field, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Mather Field, California
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On 19 February 1942 two Curtiss AT-9 Jeep advanced trainers of the 337th School Squadron USAAF, based at Mather Field, Sacramento, California, the USAAF site for advanced navigator training, were flying together near their base when, unknowingly to the two pilots, they were joined by a third AT-9 of the same school, piloted by 2nd Lt William G Erck, Jr. The airplanes flew along in this formation at an altitude of 4,000 feet for several minutes before the flight leader gave his wingman, 2nd Lt Lloyd D Collins, a signal to cross over to the left wing position. When Collins executed the maneuver his AT-9 41-5857 collided with the AT-9 41-5803 flown by Erck. The propeller of the latter severed the tail of Collins’ airplane and both airplanes fell out of control, the crews soon parachuting out. Both airplanes exploded into flames when they slammed into the ground near Mather Field at around 1700 hrs.

Collins had become entangled in his airplane and had to struggle to free his foot from the area between the rudder pedals and the sidewall, but managed to bail out and was uninjured. His passenger, Pfc Joesph C Daas, was not so lucku and was killed when he fell to earth in an unsuccessful parachute jump. He apparently beild out at too low an altitude to allow his parachute to fully deploy. 2nd Lt Erck parachuted to safety but received serious injuries. His passenger, Sgt Laverne H Kreutner, also bailed out and was uninjured.

Sources:

"Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945. Volume 1, January 1941-June 1943", by Anthony J. Mireles. ISBN 0-7864-2788-4
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/AARmonthly/Feb1942.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss-Wright_AT-9
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mather_Air_Force_Base
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=38.553889&lon=-121.297500&z=12&m=b


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Feb-2016 15:59 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 11:13 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
14-Apr-2019 20:05 A.J.Scholten Updated [Cn]

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