My first P-40 flight as

Stories and background on who and what made the 352nd Fighter Group, on the ground and in the air.

My first P-40 flight as

Postby RayMitchell » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:27 am

My first P-40 flight as a Cadet

I flew the P-40 for only 10 hours in 1943 at the Eagle Pass Texas Advance Flight Training School. We were required to fly the P-40 to graduate.

We had an old P-40 that had been in combat with the Flying Tigers and it still had the Tiger teeth design on the nacelle and needless to say the emblem was almost worn off.

Anyway, my experience may be of some interest to those who remember that period of time in training.

My first flight was quite an experience. As I took off the electrical system of this old crate went out which meant that I had no radio contact with the instructor in the radio truck on the ground. The wheels and flaps were electrically controlled and the only way to operate them was by the small hydraulic wobble pump. I circled the field for a few minutes then decided to try landing.

I first pumped like crazy to get the wheels down and locked, then tried to get some flaps down. By the time I accomplished that I was over the field but 50 feet too high to land so had to go far enough out to give me time by using the wobble pump to get every thing down and locked in place for a landing. That time I was able to make a decent landing.

Thank goodness I had read the manual and knew a little about the operation of the wobble pump. I was never too impressed with the P-40 after that, however, it served all those who flew them in combat very well in those early days of the war.

Fortunately all of my combat time during the war was in the P-51.

Ray Mitchell – Pilot with the 352nd Fighter Group
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Postby Dduck » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:47 pm

Nothing like a little added stress in flight school, eh? :wink:

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Postby Audie » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:21 am

Thanks for sharing this one and the off base cab ride one. I'm enjoying them.

52 people on the Internet have viewed the first one and already 17 have viewed this one!
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