Note: In 1951, the PB4Y-2 was redesignated the P4Y-2.
In July 1956, PB4Y-2 BuNo 59695 stationed at Sand Point was flown to Hawaii on a two-week training mission. On August 25, 1956, the aircraft was flown on an uneventful training flight. The following day, on August 26, 1956, the aircraft crashed into the Lake shortly after take-off on a routine training flight.
|Navy Accident Report
Lt. Thorson, pilot, and Lt. Shook, co-pilot, were scheduled for a local 2 ½ hour training flight in P4Y-2 BuNo 59695 at 9:30 a.m. on August 26, 1956. Due to marginal VFR conditions, they were briefed to conduct GCA runs and remain in the local pattern until the weather improved. The pilots completed the engine run-up and the take-off checklist (inadvertently missing the flaps). the tower informed the aircraft that the field was VFR and cleared the aircraft for take-off.
The aircraft became airborne just prior to reaching the
end of the
runway in a near level attitude, no more
than one to two feet in the air. As it passed the end of the runway and
the waters edge, a drop of about 10 feet, the loss of ground effect
to settle immediately. The aircraft settled to the water at full power
300 feet from the end of the 5,000 foot runway. The aircraft planed on
gear and belly and settled to a stop about 5,000 yards past the point
initial impact. An orderly ditching procedure followed. All personnel
of the aircraft in approximately 45 seconds and in life rafts shortly
thereafter. The aircraft sank in 175 feet of water in approximately 2
minutes. The personnel were rescued by the NAS Seattle crash boat about
minutes later. Lt. Shook and one crewman received minor injuries while
During the run-out on the water, the bomb bay doors
ripped open and one bomb bay tank was torn loose from the aircraft. All
propeller blades were slightly bent from impact with the water. No
is believed to have occurred to the aircraft.
Salvage operations commenced on August 28, 1956, and the aircraft was raised to the surface on August 31, 1956. However, a shackle pin to the hoisting sling broke while attempting to tow the aircraft ashore and the aircraft again sank to a depth of 210 feet. Lines had been secured to the two inboard engines and the engines broke off at the mounts when the sling shackle pin gave way. Further efforts to salvage the aircraft were abandoned as uneconomical.
It was concluded that the primary cause of the
accident was pilot error in attempting a no-flap take-off. It was also
concluded that the pilot and co-pilot did not take corrective action
enough during take-off to successfully abort the take-off.
of land-based patrol planes began before the Pearl Harbor
attack and our entry into WWII. With the need for longer ranges and
use of land-based types, particularly for Arctic
and other northern wintertime operations, the Navy acquired Army B24's,
redesignated as PB4y-1's, beginning in September 1942. Operation of
aircraft dictated several changes to meet most
Navy patrol-bomber needs: high altitude capability pf the B-24 was not
necessary, additional crew space and electronics installation were
and the single plane operations in the Pacific theater necessitated