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Miles Master No DL-679 - 22/04/1944

On the 22nd April 1944 a Major Roy B. Caviness of the 376th Fighter squadron with a Captain Johnston as a passenger was flying a Miles Master No DL-679 on a cross county flight to Speke, however upon landing at Speke and rolling about 1500 feet down the runway the right landing gear collapsed resulting in major damage to the undercarriage and propeller.

The accident is described in Major Caviness’s own words, “I arrived over Speke Airdrome at approximately 1510 and lowered my landing gear preparatory to landing. The wheels did not lock into position, so I used the emergency hand pump and emergency system. After several strokes with the pump, the red warning light went out and the two “safe green lights came on”. I checked the visual indicator on both wings and they were O.K. for landing. I made a normal approach, landed and rolled approximately 1500 feet down the runway in the first 1/3 of the field. I applied slight pressure to both brakes to slow down preparatory to turning of the runway. Immediately after applying the brakes, the right landing gear collapsed. The plane swerved of the runway to the right AND CAME TO A STOP. Neither myself nor Captain Johnson was injured. The aircraft was damaged to the following extent: Propeller and Undercarriage. The accident occurred at 15:15”.

The accident was considered to be caused by the mechanical failure of the securing bolt of the jack anchorage, the jack was then forced through the skin of the mainplane centre section resulting in further damage to the mainplane.

Major Caviness was an experienced pilot with over 1390 flying hours to his credit, 945 of these on the Miles Master.

Speke Incidents