Otis NAAF – June 30, 1947

Otis Navy Auxiliary Air Field – June 30, 1947

     On June 30, 1947, a navy Culver TD2C-1, target drone, (Bu. No. 120128), was scheduled to take off from Otis Field for a remote radio control test flight.  Aboard was a safety pilot assigned to VU-5.  

     The aircraft was to be controlled by a radio signal originating from a transmitting device on the ground, operated by a radio control officer.  The safety pilot was to take over if something should go wrong with the radio signals. 

     After a pre-flight inspection, the aircraft was cleared for take off, and the radio officer took control of the plane.  The aircraft started down the runway, and after covering about 1,500 feet it lifted from the ground in a slightly nose-high attitude.  When it reached an altitude of about 25 feet it suddenly began to wobble from side to side, and lose altitude.  The left wing struck the runway and the drone cartwheeled across a ravine and came to rest 75 feet from the initial point of impact. 

     Remarkably the safety pilot wasn’t injured, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.  

     Source: U. S. Navy accident report dated June 30, 1947

South Weymouth, MA. – December 3, 1948

South Weymouth Naval Air Station – December 3, 1948

      On December 3, 1948, a navy Culver TD2C – 1 target drone, (Bu. No. 120259), was returning to the South Weymouth Naval Air Station after a gyro flight test.  On approach, the pilot throttled back to reduce air speed, and when he attempted to apply more throttle the engine quit.  The pilot glided the aircraft over some trees at the end of Runway 22 and after doing so, aimed the nose downward to pick up flying speed, but due to loss of speed and the small surface of the elevators on this type of aircraft, he could not raise the nose.  The aircraft stalled and nosed into the ground at a twenty degree angle.  The aircraft was damaged beyond repair but the pilot was not injured.

     The aircraft was attached to VU-5.

     Source:  U. S. Navy accident report dated December 3, 1948 

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