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Thread: Liberator GR.1 carrying passengers?

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    Default Liberator GR.1 carrying passengers?

    Just a quick question.

    I'm researching the crash of Liberator AM921 at Reykjavik in January 1943. It was on a transit flight (don't know to where though, so don't know the flight's intended duration), and carried a crew of 6 plus 8 passengers. My question is, where would the passengers be likely to have sat? It was a Liberator GR.1 with 120 Sqn, not one of the BOAC Liberators.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Possibly four in the nose, several in the crew rest compartment and a couple sitting on the floor. Blo?><dy uncomfortable anyway!

    I have details of an accident where four people were trapped in the nose but don't know precisely where the others were positioned - watch out for the c of g 'shift' and check the elevator trim very carefully before take-off would be my advice to the captain!!

    Old Duffer

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    Thanks for the reply OD. Yes it certainly did seem a pretty unpleasant way to travel.

    Of the 7 aircrew (not 6 as previously stated) and 8 passengers on board AM921, four of the crew and four of the passengers lost their lives in the crash. The four aircrew who died were the pilot, co-pilot, navigator and one w/op. The plane came to rest on gravel heap, with the fuselage forward of wings being on fire. So, sadly for them, four passengers in the nose looks a likely scenario.

    Regards

    Simon

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    From my readings, the positioning of persons in the nose compartments of Liberators in particular during landings and take offs was forbidden for most of WW2 because of the numbers lost or seriously injured in accidents during these phases of operations. The nose wheel was prone to collapse if overstressed, and the undercarriage strut would often force its way into the nose compartment with possibly disastrous results for anybody unfortunate enough to be occupying this space. Other aircraft I know of in which crew members were forbidden to occupy the nose compartment included the Hudson and Ventura variants, although of course these were tail-wheel aircraft. The reason for banning human habitation in these cases was critical centre of gravity concerns, with any crew members temporarily banned from the nose (usually the observer/navigator, whose normal "work station" was the nose compartment) being advised to stand beside the pilot's position, or at the front end of the main cabin against the bulkhead in case of crash or wheels up landings.
    David D

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    Forumites,
    From AP 1867C, D, E, F, G & J - PN, Pilot's & Flight Engineer's Notes, page 35, paragraph 45:-

    (i) During taxying, take-off and landing, there is a considerable pitching movement at all loadings. For this reason no member of the crew should be aft of the beam gun station.

    (ii) On no account should anyone be in the nose wheel compartment due to danger of injury should the nose-wheel gear collapse. (Note, nose-wheel compartment, NOT nose compartment as such)

    (iii) (Further notes advise of positions to be taken up by all members of the crew of the various versions of these Liberators for take off and landings, including aircraft fitted with Leight lights, with nose turrets and even with fixed RP equipment.) However these were all OPERATIONAL versions of the Liberator, and thus do not detail the procedures for the various transport versions and conversions. Needless to say the nose gunner advised to go aft - to the beam gun station (obviously c of g considertions here too, as well as safety.)

    David D

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