Page:CAB Accident Report, United Air Lines Flight 2.pdf/1

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File No. 3624-41

of the
Investigation of an Accident Involving Aircraft in Scheduled Air Carrier Operation


An accident occurred at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on June 15, 1941, about 9:41 p.m., which resulted in minor damage to a Douglas DC—3 airplane, NC 1948, owned and operated by Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. No injuries were received by any of the five passengers or the crew of three. The crew consisted of Captain Bernard Malcolm Lloyd, First Officer Thomas Lynch, both of whom were properly certificated and appropriately rated, and Hostess N. Cranger.

The flight, designated by TWA as Flight 53, originated at New York, New York, with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as its destination and with scheduled intermediate stops at Philadelphia and Harrisburg. The flight was uneventful until it made its approach for landing at Harrisburg. Normal cockpit routine was followed during the approach and the landing gear was extended and latched. Both the captain and first officer observed that the lever was in the latched position, the hydraulic pressure gauge indicated a normal reading and the green signal light was on. The flaps were then lowered. About the time that the flaps reached the full down position, and when the throttles were closed to approximately 10 inches manifold pressure, the landing gear warning horn sounded. The captain placed his hand on the landing gear control lever, moved it slightly, and the horn ceased to sound, so the landing was continued in the routine manner. When wheel contact was established, the crew noted on unusual response as if the nose of the airplane were in a lower attitude than normal. Captain Lloyd immediately opened the throttles, at which time he had the impression that the propeller blades struck the ground. A take-off was made, and the landing gear retracting mechanism was checked as the airplane circled the field. At Captain Lloyd's request, the gear was observed from the ground to ascertain in whether or not it was extended properly. Nothing was found to be wrong so the captain proceeded to make another landing, this time he completed it without a mishap, and taxied to the hangar.

Investigation disclosed that the tips of both propellers had been damaged by contact with the surface of the runway. Extensive tests failed to reveal any mechanical defect in the landing gear retracting mechanism or in the hydraulic system.

PROBABLE CAUSE: Failure of the landing gear locking mechanism to function properly for reasons undetermined.