Air Enthusiast 2006-04
N.Veronico - Failure at the Factory /Production and industry/
A factory-fresh PB4Y-2 on the ramp at Lindbergh Field, San Diego. It has been fitted with an aerodynamic covering over the location where the nose turret would be installed. This is the configuration of 59554 when it took off on November 22,1944.
Consolidated Vultee company photographer Otto Menge took this official photograph of a PB4Y-2 in flight before the aircraft was delivered to the US Navy.
Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and factory workers try to extinguish the flames of 59836 after a Ryan Fireball crashed into it.
When an unqualified mechanic attempted to remove a battery solenoid, the first production PB4Y-2, 59350, was completely destroyed.
At the impact site of BuNo 59554, Navy crews worked to rescue any survivors. Notice the hole chopped into the rear fuselage near the horizontal stabilizer. 'A' denotes the unusual shoulder of the hill, and 'B' shows the starboard outer wing panel laying across a drainage ditch.
PB4Y-2 BuNo 59554, flown by a civilian crew from Consolidated Vultee, lost their lives when factory workers failed to install 98 bolts holding on the left outer wing panel. Installation of the missing bolts was signed off by an inspector.
A Ryan Fireball lost a wing and the resulting wreckage dropped onto PB4Y-2 BuNo 59836 as it sat on the Lindbergh Field ramp.