Friday, May 9, 2008

TB-26C in Yakima, #41-35392

Martin TB-26C-10 #41-35392 suffered a minor equipment problem on May 19, 1945 at about 0900, at Yakima County Airport. It was enough to be listed on AAIR as an aircraft casualty…well, that might be a bit harsh, since the problem in question was the departure from the aircraft of its life raft and its CO2 tank. The door opened and the CO2 tank crashed into the vertical stabilizer. The vertical stabilizer was damaged by a gash/dent 8X5 inches on the leading edge. There were no control problems and the pilot flew back around and landed without incident. The Air Force listed it as a major accident…mainly because of the amount of time it took to repair the damage to the stabilizer.

The pilot, George B. Smallfield, at the time, had 142:10 hours in the type. His total flying time was 428:35 at the time of the accident report. The mission was to tow a target over the Yakima Firing Range (Center). This was not the only tow plane to meet an untimely end in Central Washington.

(resource: UAF Accident Report: 45-5-19-21)

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