Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: An RAF LB-30A Liberator in flight
Photo [pre-1957] Taken by an employee of the UK government. Photo now in the public domain.
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Consolidated LB-30A (B-24) Liberator / AM260
Type Nickname: "Lib"; "Lumbering Lib"; "Flying Boxcar", and others.
The Consolidated B-24 heavy bomber first flew in 1939. The
prototypes were equipped with four Pratt & Whitney 1200hp R-1830-33
Twin Wasp engines. Early production versions were fitted with P&W
1200hp R-1830-41 engines with GE turbo superchargers. Later
production versions (B-24Ds) were fitted with P&W R-1830-43 engines.
Later variants followed. Their maximum speed was about 487km/h
The RAF gained extra B-24s when they took delivery of an order
destined originally for France. Consolidated termed the B-24
aircraft destined for Britain 'LB-30As', as they had been modified
to meet British MoD and RAF requirements. The RAF assigned the name
Liberator to their new bombers (a name adopted later by the USAAF).
BELOW: Shown here is RAF Consolidated Liberator AM262. The serial number was just two digits higher than the aircraft featured on this page. After the war, AM262 and other Liberators were registered to BOAC for civilian use.
Photo: Source unknown
Aircraft Accident Details
Consolidated Liberator AM260 was being operated by a crew from RAF Ferry Command. The aircraft was in the process of leaving RAF Ayr (Heathfield) on a ferry flight to Montreal in Canada.
The Pilot taxied his aircraft down one of the main runways from the loading position. (Many pilots considered regular-width perimeter taxiways to be too narrow for their large Liberator aircraft.) Once reaching the end of the runway, it was expected that the Pilot would turn his aircraft onto the longest runway for take-off.
However, as the RAF Duty Pilot observed from the Watch Tower (Control Tower), the Liberator Pilot turned his aircraft toward a shorter runway and began his take off roll. The Duty Pilot believed that the aircraft Pilot would abort his take off further down the runway, once he realised his mistake.
Nevertheless, the Liberator Pilot continued his attempt to take-off until he had insufficent room left on the runway to abort. At this point, the aircraft careered off the runway into the ploughed area beyond the threshold. However, even here, the Liberator was unable to stop before crossing over an embankment beyond the end of the runway. The aircraft then leaped across a road, and down a second embankment into a root field. From there, burning wreckage from the aircraft was strewn along and across a railway line and the adjacent field. There were no survivors.
(See Official Accident Report on Page 2 for more details.)
Aircraft Crew / Passenger Casualties
This aircraft carried four crew and eighteen passengers, most of whom were aircrew in transit. These were:
Footnote 1: Captain Richard Stafford was a good friend of fellow BOAC pilot Captain Ernest White, whose Liberator (AM261) had crashed at Mullach Buidhe on the Isle of Arran a few days earlier.
Travelling as Passengers
Please click on the hyperlinked names above for further details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.
Crash Site Photos
There are no crash site photos for this aircraft.
PAGE 2 (Official Accident Report)
Air Crash Sites-Scotland
Search here for: aircraft types | crash
sites | crew names | hills or mountains
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 14 Aug 1941
Accident Site:RAF Ayr (Heathfield)
Region: South Ayrshire
Prestwick or Ayr
Nearest large town:Kilmarnock (NE)
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref: N/A
Present Condition: No known wreckage remaining.
Registration or Serial: AM260
Operator: RAF (Ferry Command; 1425 Flight—Transatlantic Routes)
Operating Base: RAF Ayr (including also RAF 44 Grp. Transport; RN HMS Gannet; HMS Wagtail.)
Base Location: Ayr (Heathfield) Aerodrome, Ayr, Scotland.
Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport;
Current Airport Name: Glasgow (Prestwick) International Airport (EGPK)
B-24 Liberator Aircraft Links
RAF and Related Links
RCAF and Related Links
Hill Walking Links
(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)
Hillwalking (The Scottish Mountaineering Club)
Hillwalking.org.uk (Equipment, etc.)
Mountain Guides (Routes, maps, advice and guidance compiled by Steven Fallon)
OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
Emergency Services Link
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
LB-30A Liberator AM260
RAF Ayr (Heathfield), Ayrshire