Luke Aux #5

P39Q

Brad - Pinaleno PB4Y2

Brad - Siphon Draw T-6

Page Chopper

Loughead F-1A

IL-10

Douglas DT-1 A-6031

Titan II missile silo

DEER VALLEY

Bell P-39Q Airacobra
P-39Q (photo courtesy of USAF), Airacobra, arizona plane crashes
P-39Q Airacobra
The aircraft was flying on an agreed tactical formation flight of 1 ½ hours duration during daylight hours.  Pilot was a combat returnee with 445:20 of flying time in single engine tactical aircraft; however he was not experienced in this type of tactical aircraft.  Takeoff was made at 13:40 PMT and at 13:50 PMT,  made rendezvous with P-63 airplane AAF No. 42-69663, piloted by 2nd Lt. Paul D. Quick, ASN 0-737238, over Mohave County Airport 14 miles west of Kingman Army Air Field.  No radio communication was made between the pilots as all formation signals were prearranged.

The formation made a flight from rendezvous to the North in the Las Vegas valley, and returned South down the valley towards the city of Kingman.  All formation flying was done at an altitude of 10,000’ plus or minus 1,000’ as per statement of Lt. Quick, who stated that reaching a point of approximately 12 miles SW of the city of Kingman.  Lt. Schoenfeld who was leader of the formation, and flying to the left of Lt. Quick, pulled up and to the left away from him.  Lt. Quick lost the P-39 during the maneuver: therefore, he made a turn to the left to see the location of the other aircraft.  During the flying interim, the aircraft were separated approximately 1 ½ miles.  Lt. Quick stated that he saw the P-39 in a nose high attitude at an altitude of 13,000” and then immediately go into an attitude of apparent tumbling.  Lt. Quick continued describing said tumbling as a nose, right wing tip, and tail maneuver, end over end, and then the aircraft fell into a normal spin of two (2) to three (3) turns, at which time, the pilot apparently recovered.  At Lt. Quick’s altitude of approximately 10,000’, the P-39 immediately fell into a spin to the left.  Lt. Quick’s actual words were “In a very slow, flat, spin.  It was so flat, it was unbelievable.”  Lt. Quick hollered “Jump”, but there was no response to his call, and no apparent recovery from the spin.  Aircraft crash 12 miles SW of the city of Kingman, and immediately burst into flames.  The P-63 pilot immediately circled the location, and called Kingman Tower where a reply was received to stand by for further instructions.  No instructions were given to him; therefore, he returned to the field, requested landing instructions, and landed, reporting thereafter to his operations.

Kingman Tower reported the crash at 14:32 PMT, at which time Base Operations alerted the “Crash” system.  Kingman Tower dispatched two (2) BT-13s that were in the air, to the location, to guide the convoy to the scene of the accident.  Crash Truck, and Ambulance were dispatched immediately, and then balance of convoy, all of which arrived near the scene of the accident at approximately 15:17 PMT, where the rest of the way was made on foot.  Aircraft was burning at midsection of fuselage, and gas tanks in the wings.  Extinguishers were immediately applied to the remains in the cockpit which were extricated from same.  Pilot was fatally injured from multiple, mutilating injuries of the head, upper, lower extremities, and third degree burns of the entire body.

The aircraft had crashed, wheels up, in a flat, small valley between two (2) hills, apparently from a flat spin.  Examination of wreckage showed the following:

  1. Aircraft landed flat, moving to the rear and sideways, approximately 10 feet from first point of impact.
  2. Complete engine was thrown clear of wreckage and 12 feet in direction of flight.
  3. Radio was thrown approximately 20 ft. from wreckage.
  4. Empennage was twisted to inverted position.
  5. Nose section except propeller hub, was left almost intact.
  6. One (1) blade of propeller was broken off and dug into the ground.
  7. The propeller hub was thrown clear with the remaining blades about 8 ft. forward of the crash.
  8. Original nose impact dug into the hard rocky ground about 12 inches.
  9. Pilot was found crushed against the right side of instrument panel below back plat of right gun.  Safety belt was still locked, and inspection revealed the “Sutton Harness”, was not fastened to the safety belt.
  10. Mixture control was found to be in the idle cut off position.  Magneto switch was in “off” position.  Fuel boost pump and battery switch was in the “on” position.
  11. Examination of cables to controlling surfaces, were found intact.
  12. Throttle was in forward position.
  13. Carburetor linkage showed mixture control in idle cut off position, and throttle open.  Propeller control is synchronized with throttle on this mode. 
  14. Right door with forms 1, and 1A, were found intact with glass cracked but not broken, 200 yards from wreckage, showing same had been released for possible escape.

The Accident Investigating Board determined that the lack of evidence at the scene of the accident, prohibited a definite statement of cause; however, it is felt the following conclusions can be drawn:

  1. Pilot pulled up and away from P-63 into a stall maneuver that threw the airplane into an apparent       tumbling attitude and then into a normal spin to the right from which pilot recovered but immediately broke into a secondary spin to the left , from which there was no apparent recovery.
  2. Position of wreckage showed very little speed forward or sideward, indicating a very, slow, flat spin.
  3. Pilot started to bail out as right door was released; however, it is assumed that he waited too long, and decided to crash with the airplane which is borne out by the magneto switch being off; mixture control in idle cut off.
  4. Crash straps were not used which would have save him from mutilating head injuries.
  5. No material failure is indicated.
  6. Engine apparently was not under power as revealed out by investigation of switches, and the propeller blades were bent upon impact, and not from hitting ground under power.

Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Original crash photos
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
More crash photos
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Photos from the crash report
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Crash site picture
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Crash debris
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Instrument face
Schoenfeldt, Lt., Dean, E.
Flew a P-51B, 43-6561 for the 357th Fighter Group, OS-
Code: OS Callsign: Blowball
to 22 April '44 then:
Custard (A Group)
Moses (B Group)

357th Fighter Squadron
Lt. Dean E. Schoenfeldt Born 7-Dec-1920, Died 23-Feb-1945
42-20804, P-39Q
Usual Residence
256 Center Street
Orange, California

Engineering-Pilot
Birthplace New York, New York
Married to Betty Jo Schoenfeldt


Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
On the side of the mountain
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Up close and personal, buckles from the crash site
More debris on the mountainside, p-39Q Airacobra crash, arizona airplane crash, warbird crashes in arizona, plane crash in arizona
More debris on the mountainside
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Debris at the crash site
Original crash photos, P-39Q Airacobra, arizona crash, plane crash in arizona, arizona plane crash
Museum piece - P39Q
Pilot Instructors Wanted, Southwest Airways, World War Two
Pilot Instructors Wanted
Airplane Crash Fire Fighting Manual from 1944
Airplane Crash Fire Fighting Manual from 1944
Army Aviation Crash Investigation Kit
Army Aviation Crash Investigation Kit