F6F Hellcat CRASHES with Collapsed Undercarriage on Tarawa In WW2
YouTube / hw97karbine
What a Tough Machine
In this footage, we see an F6F Hellcat and its undercarriage collapse on Tarawa in late 1943.
We think that it was a decent military-style stall-down landing although the touchdown itself might have been a bit firm, and the pilot might have hit a pothole or a soft spot on the rollout. The left wheel also came off at touchdown.
Despite the gear failure, the runway looked more damaged than the aircraft, which is pretty amazing. Grumman sure knows its thing, that’s why it did earn quite a reputation for producing sturdy planes, never shielding away from toughness. Also, it’s cool to see the pilot survive the crash despite the plane landing on its back. What a lucky fellow!