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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 78620
Last updated: 8 September 2021
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Time:2:19 pm.
Type:Semi-rigid airship
Owner/operator:United States Army Air Service
Registration: Roma
Fatalities:Fatalities: 34 / Occupants: 45
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Nr Army Supply Base, Norfolk, Virginia -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Langley, Va.
Destination airport:Langley, Va.
At 410 feet long the Roma was the largest semi-rigid airship of the time.
Designed by Umberto Nobile and built in Italy, the Roma was purchased from the Italian government by the US Army in 1921 for the price of $250,000.
The Army intended to use the Roma as a training airship.
After refurbishing and the installation of Liberty engines a test flying program was embarked upon.
On the 21st of February, 1922, the Roma departed her base at Langley Field and a short while later, while flying at a height of 600 feet, began to descend steeply.
The crew attempted to correct the situation by the use of the elevators, but to no avail and the nose of the airship came into contact with power wires, causing the hydrogen gas which filled the craft's gas bags to explode.
The pilot, Captain Dale Mabry and 33 others died in the crash, 8 persons sustained serious injuries, and only 3 escaped unharmed.
As the result of this tragedy hydrogen was no longer used in US airships.
It is believed that structural failure of the rudders caused the elevators to become jammed and unable to be moved.


Revision history:

10-Oct-2010 07:13 angels one five Added
10-Oct-2010 07:16 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
02-Jun-2013 02:59 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Location, Narrative]
25-Nov-2014 05:16 Anon. Updated [Operator, Narrative]
02-Jun-2017 20:46 angels one five Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
02-Jun-2017 21:09 angels one five Updated [Operator]

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