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A Strange Accident

by John M. White |

As pilots were all interested in accidents involving aircraft, and ever since the first flight by the Wright Brothers there have been a fair number of aircraft accidents. However, some of them could be classified as stranger than fiction. One such flight took place on October 8th, 1947. A crew in a DC-4 were carrying a Captain in the jump seat and while the command pilot and co-pilot were not looking the Captain in the jump seat decided to engage the aircraft gust lock. Douglas DC-4 The command pilot attempted to trim the aircraft and noticed as he rolled the trim tab that there was no aircraft reaction. In a moment of stupidity the Captain in the jump seat disengaged the gust lock commanding the DC-4 into a very steep dive. Because neither the command pilot nor the Captain in the jump seat had their seat belts on and as a result when the aircraft became inverted their heads struck the feather controls for the engines. What happened next was that they accidentally feathered engines numbers one, two and four. This reduced power and allowed the co-pilot, who was strapped in his seat, to pull out of the dive 350 feet above the ground. Everyone survived the incident. Ah, I miss the grand old days - don't you? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. — John Kenneth Galbraith

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