2002-01-12 / Letters

Why Did Engines Fall?

Why Did Engines Fall?

Dear Editor:

I served for three years in the Army-Air Force, World War Two, and I never saw or heard of a motor or vertical fin falling off of aircraft without some serious trauma to the aircraft.

I have seen B-17 return to base with flack holes the size of basketballs in their wings or fuselage, but the motors never fell off. Their vertical fins shot up and ragged, but still on the aircraft. The shock of landing may cause a damaged motor or wing to collapse and fall away.

But in free flight on a sunny day what causes a vertical fin, and then both motors to fall from the aircraft? Pieces were seen falling from the plane while over the bay. I even found a piece in my driveway!


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