List of Accidents and Incidents Involving Military Aircraft Before 1925 - 1922

1922

21 February
U.S. Army semi-rigid (blimp with a keel) Roma, bought from Italy, formerly T34, suffers control box failure at stern in flight, nosed into the ground, struck power lines at Army supply base, Norfolk, Virginia, and burst into flames, killing 34 of 45 on board, including Capt. Dale Mabry, its commander. This would remain the worst American aviation accident until the loss of the USS Akron in 1933. Accident spurs American lighter-than-air operations to switch to helium, less buoyant than hydrogen, but non-inflammable. Dale Mabry Municipal Airport in Tallahassee, Florida, that city's first airport, was named after Mabry, a Tallahassee native.
21 February
U.S. Marine Corps Naval Aircraft Factory F-5-L, A-3591, of VS-1M, crashed during a night flight, this date.
June
Sole prototype of the Royal Air Force Vickers Valentia flying boat, N124, which was constructed between 1918 and 1921, and completed by S.E. Saunders of Cowes, Isle of Wight, crashes and is written off.
23 September
A Martin NBS-1 bomber, Air Service 68487, Raymond E. Davis, pilot, nose dived and crashed from an estimated altitude of 500 feet on a residential street near Mitchel Field, Mineola, New York, killing the six military personnel on board. At the time, the plane was involved in a night time war game display that was lit by searchlights and watched by an estimated crowd of 25,000 spectators.
October
Hangar fire at Martlesham Heath, Great Britain, destroys a number of captured aircraft from the Great War.
17 October
U.S. Army's largest blimp, C-2, catches fire shortly after being removed from its hangar at Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas for a flight. Seven of eight crew aboard are injured, mostly in jumping from the craft. This accident was made the occasion for official announcement by the Army and the Navy that the use of hydrogen would be abandoned "as speedily as possible." On 14 September 1922, the C-2 had made the first transcontinental airship flight, from Langley Field, Virginia, to Foss Field, California, under the command of Maj H. A. Strauss.
22 October
1st Lt. Harold Ross Harris (1897–1988) becomes the first member of the U.S. Army Air Service to save his life by parachute, when the Loening PW-2A, (probably AS-64388), he is testing out of McCook Field, Ohio, suffers vibration, loses part of left wing or aileron, so he parts company with the airframe, landing safely. Two sources gives the date as 20 October. McCook Field personnel create the "Caterpiller Club" for those whose lives are saved by parachute bail-out with Harris the plank-holding member.
11 November
1st Lt. Frank B. Tyndall is the second U.S. Army Air Service pilot to utilize a parachute in a life-saving effort when the Boeing-built MB-3A, (probably AS-68380) he is testing at Seattle, Washington sheds its wings in flight almost directly over the Boeing factory. He would later perish on 15 July 1930 in the crash of Curtiss P-1F Hawk, 28-61, near Mooresville, North Carolina. Tyndall Air Force Base is named in his honor.
12 November
Lt. Cdr. Godfrey DeCourcelles Chevalier, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1910, who was appointed a Naval Air Pilot No. 7 on 7 November 1915 and a Naval Aviator No. 7 on 7 November 1918, crashes in a Vought VE-7 while en route from NAS Norfolk to Yorktown, Virginia, dying in Portsmouth Naval Hospital on 14 November as a result of his injuries. On 26 October 1922 Lieutenant Commander Chevalier made the first landing on the USS Langley's deck, the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier, in an Aeromarine 39-B, A-606.
7 December
DH-4B, AS-63780, departs Rockwell Field, San Diego, California at 0905 hrs. bound for Fort Huachuca, Arizona, piloted by 1st Lt. Charles L. Webber with Col. Francis C. Marshall aboard for an inspection trip of cavalry posts and camps. When plane never arrives, one of the largest man-hunts in Air Service history is mounted but when search is finally given up on 23 February 1923 nothing had been found. Wreckage is eventually discovered 12 May 1923 by a man hunting stray cattle in the mountains. Flight apparently hit Cuyamaca Peak just a few miles east of San Diego in fog within thirty minutes of departure.

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