Bradley Field, Connecticut – May 11, 1941
This incident actually involves two separate accidents, in the same type of aircraft, flown by the same pilot, on the same day, at the same air field. For reasons that will become obvious, the pilot’s name will not be revealed to protect his privacy.
The first accident involved a P-40E, (Ser. No. 40-44057) that took off from Bradley Field for an early morning training flight. Upon its return from a successful flight, the left tire on the landing gear blew out upon landing causing the plane to nose over causing damage to the aircraft, but no injury to the pilot.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the tire was excessively worn, and should have been replaced before the plane was certified as airworthy.
As with any accident, the pilot was sent to the flight surgeon for a medical evaluation. It was during this exam that the doctor determined the pilot was emotionally upset due to the accident, and shouldn’t fly for the rest of the day. The pilot’s commanding officer was apprised of this situation, but scheduled the pilot to fly again that afternoon in spite of the doctor’s recommendations.
That afternoon the pilot took off in another P-40E, (Ser. No. 42744) for his scheduled training flight. After another successful flight, he once again landed at Bradley Field. This time the landing gear collapsed just after the plane touched down.
Investigators partially blamed supervisory personnel for the second accident.
What became of the pilot was not recorded.
Sources: U.S. Army Air Force Technical Reports of Aircraft Accident, #42-5-11-16, and #42-5-11-17 (Photos of the accidents are from those reports.)