Accident Fairchild PT-19 40-2450, Friday 1 January 1943
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Date:Friday 1 January 1943
Type:Silhouette image of generic FA62 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fairchild PT-19
Owner/operator:307th Flying Trg Detachment USAAF
Registration: 40-2450
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:6 miles north of Hicks Field, Texas. -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Hicks Field, TX
Destination airport:
In preparation for the eventual U.S. entry into World War II, the United States Army Air Corps sought to expand the nation's combat air forces by asking civilian flight schools to provide the primary phase of training for air cadets. Consequently, it contracted with civilian flying schools to provide primary flying training, with the graduates being moved on to basic and advanced training at regular military training airfields.

Taken over by United States Army Air Corps in 1940, Hicks Field, a WWI training airfield near Saginaw, Texas, was reopened and its facilities improved. It was used as a contract primary flight training facility by the USAAF Gulf Coast Training Center (later Central Flying Command). The Texas Aviation School and the W. F. Long Flying School provided flying training to aviation cadets. Initially under supervision of 307th Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment, later re-designated as 2555th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Contract Pilot School, Primary) on 1 May 1944. A ten-week course of primary training continued at Hicks, and a total of 2,403 cadets were processed, and about 70% made it to the next level of training at Randolph Field.

On 1 January 1943 a civilian instructor, Thomas F Pemberton, and a student pilot, Aviaton Cadet Anthony R Volpe, too off from Hicks Field for a training flight. At 13:45 hrs their aircraft, the PT-19 40-2450, suffered a catastrophic structural failure of the main spar in the center section, causing the right wing to come off at the junction of the wing and the fuselage. This resulted from an abrupt pull-up out of a dvie after a spin recovery, but no more than is to be expected in everyday student training. The student, due to extreme tenseness and fear, did not open his safety belt or make any other effort to get out. The instructor attempted to reach him but was thrown out of the aircraft and made a successful descent by parachute. AVC Volpe was killed when the PT-19 crashed to the ground six miles north of Hicks Field.


"Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945. Volume 1, January 1941-June 1943", by Anthony J. Mireles. ISBN 0-7864-2788-4

Revision history:

23-Nov-2018 12:21 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Mar-2020 19:00 DB Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]
24-Aug-2021 05:57 angels one five Updated [Phase]
07-Apr-2022 08:41 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative, Operator]

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