S/Sgt Tom Bond
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Lakeland AAF, MacDill Field Sub-Base,
1. There have been four incidents in the past week pointing towards disrespect of the B-26 airplane. This Group has had a superior record over the past several months, but complacency and over-confidence will start accidents again.
2. The four incidents:
a. It has been reported that one pilot allows the airplane to pick up over 150 mph before pulling off. This is taking a considerable chance an your tires and wheels.
b. Higher headquarters reports one of our airplanes being pulled off at 100-110 mph and tire wheels being retracted simultaneously. Don't be too hot on this. With your wings parallel to the ground, you can better pick up that extra 10-15 mph and get off comfortably and decisively without taking a chance of settling down again.
c. Report has boon made of take-offs with 100 RPM drop on checking magneto switches. This, in a B-26, invites disaster, so unless you can clear it up on the spot, take her back to the stable.
d. An engine completely stopped the other day on run-up, with a complete drop in fuel pressure as symptom. The pilot started the engine, so I am told, and took off. Nothing more was done until it happened again, and fortunately no harm was done. An engine never stops without reason, and unless you know why, never fly it until you find out.
e. Metal was found in a hydraulic cuno, and the decision to find out immediately what bras wrong was a bit slow in coming. Don't take changes; if metal flakes appear in the cuno, it moans that something is wearing out. It follows that sooner or later it will fail, so why wait and invite an accident.
3. Your success in flying this airplane has boon due to the care you have all given to flying it with the proper respect. Keep up that respect.
REGINALD F. C. VANCE,