US Navy pilot Lt (jg) C. Clifton Francom unsuccessfully testing TBM Avenger torpedo bomber with experimental wing mounted radome aboard Ticonderoga, 4 Jul 1944, photo 1 of 5

Caption   US Navy pilot Lt (jg) C. Clifton Francom unsuccessfully testing TBM Avenger torpedo bomber with experimental wing mounted radome aboard Ticonderoga, 4 Jul 1944, photo 1 of 5 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseC. C. Francom
Identification Code   CV-14-443 (1)
More on...   
TBF Avenger   Main article  Photos  
Ticonderoga   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Mark 12 5-inch/38 caliber   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Photos on Same Day 4 Jul 1944
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 12 Jul 2008

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Licensing  used with permission of the owner

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
13 Jul 2008 11:19:06 AM

The full story here (and this photo shows it the best) is that Francom was picked to test the flight characteristics of the TBM with wing-mounted radome because he was the Torpedo Squadron's senior non-commanding aviator. When the experimental radom was mounted and the stbd wing-tip was being replaced, the aileron cables were reversed when they were re-connected. This made the ailerons go both-up or both-down instead of one-up and one-down like they were supposed to. This reversal rendered the plane un-flyable and this result inescapable. This set of photos (and this one in particular) helped Francom avoid a finding of 'Pilot Error' for this event. Francom went on to fly numerous combat sorties before becoming the personal pilot for an admiral. He had a very productive post-war career as an advisor to the Rand Corporation, among other things.
2. Anonymous says:
12 Oct 2021 05:35:21 AM

Sir - the avoidance of a Pilot-Error assessment seems generous on the part of the assessing body - any pilot should check the basic workings of his machine prior to flight - correct, full and free movement of controls is one of those basic checks.......
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
12 Oct 2021 12:01:50 PM

Anonymous (above):
I think you would be completely correct had this event happened today in the civil aviation setting. In carrier operations during wartime conditions, things were much different. Readying the aircraft for flight was the crew chief’s responsibility and the pilot does little more than jump in and go. Additionally, the story of this flight was told to me by the pilot himself who was an old-time Navy flier and was not above a sea-story or two, so some of the details he relayed may be a few degrees off from true north.

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