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Old 01-08-2013, 09:06:26 PM   #1
Cardinal
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Video of VAQ-33 Crash on Nimitz!

Around the time that Gulf War I was going on, I heard about a EA-3B from my old squadron, VAQ-33 crashing ( http://www.reenactor.net/vaq-33/index.htm ). I searched on YouTube and found thee video that shows the EA-3B crashing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT40pxuPzfo . From what I remember when this accident first came out is that the green pilot bolterd (didn't catch an arresting wire) numerous times so they set up the barrier to catch him. He (obviously) came in too high and too fast which caused him to tear the barrier apart. The aircraft then slid down the flight deck, went off the angle deck, and into the water.

I too am confused as to why they didn't send a rescue team to get them out. I didn't know any of the crew as I got out of the Navy in 1971.

The A-3D (the Skywarrior's original designation) was called the All Three Dead as NOBODY has EVER gotten out of an A-3. The tail is 30+ feet tall so ejection seats can't clear the tail. They installed a side door on it but the fuselage's aerodynamics suck you down the side hammering you to death or you get sucked into the J-57 jet engine! There is a radome on the belly with many antena's sticking out it so you are implaled on them if you go out that way.

BTW, VAW-33's mission was electronic warfare = monitoring other countries electronics. Electronics being any radio signals from communications to radar.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:19:44 PM   #2
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Wait, that plane held 7 people???
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:31:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroMan79
Wait, that plane held 7 people???


A Bomber variant A3 skyraider had (3) crew members .. pilot , bomber /navigator and rear gunner

a electronics warfare variant had an additional (4) crew members as electronic warfare countermeasure specialists and they were seated in the bomb bay area

even though these are Navy aircraft we had a squadron of these at MCAS El Toro


you can see the (2) windows just behind and below the cockpit ,that's were the other (4) electronic countermeasure officers are seated

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:49:46 PM   #4
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Pilot, copilot, crewchief, four to eight operators depending on the number of stations in what was the bombay area. The bombay area was 6' wide, 6' high and (if my memory serves me right 20' (or longer).
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:56:42 PM   #5
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if memory serves me right the S3 viking is what replaced the Douglas A3 skyraider , and the S3 carries a crew of (4)


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Old 01-08-2013, 09:58:11 PM   #6
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I took aircrash/fire rescue when I was firefighting,our instructor was a Navy guy from NAS Whiting Feild and use to bring in the Navy films.Some intense flightdeck footage from all angles.Learned alot from him and actually put it to use.Went to a twin engine plane crash into a apartment complex killing all souls on board I was one of the FF that removed the bodies. And a F-16 crash into one of our neighborhoods.The F-16 had a engine come apart the pilot tried to run it into the ground.He ejected last minute,the plane hit the street skipped twice then went into a house killing a child and burning his mother.The pilot did all he could do he tried to drive it straight into the street his chute didn't fully deploy and he was caught in a tree.Will never forget either of those days.You could see the marks in the street were the plane hit and bounced and hit again.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:04:49 PM   #7
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we had some pretty bad accidents at El Toro involving Marine aircraft in which quite a few were fatal .One day while at my duty section was watching a RF4B doing touch n go's when on one of his attempts the landing gear collapsed causing the aircraft to hit hard onto the runway seriously injuring the pilot and rear seat officer . Another really bad accident when a early version FA18 crashed into the bases chapel killing the pilot

one of the worst crashes there at the base was in 1965 when a military transport aircraft with 84 marines onboard crashed into Toro peak on take off ,this aircraft was headed to Vietnam when this crash happened
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:16:38 PM   #8
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"Hard Copy" sensationalism, I don't think the Navy had any reason to hide anything whether they retrieved the crew or not. There more than likely was a safety issue or some other reason undisclosed by an over reacting television production just to sell soap.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:07:05 PM   #9
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^ This.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal
I searched on YouTube and found thee video that shows the EA-3B crashing!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT40pxuPzfo .
Crap......that was one of our deployments.
We were out there with the Nimitz and Carl Vinson BG's

Planes crash out on cruises all the time during work ups and training.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:43:07 PM   #10
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I built a bomber version model of the "Whale" when I was 16... I thought it was one of the coolest planes I had built... tail gun and all. If memory serves me, it was the A-3D varient.

When I was on the Enterprise, we lost an F-14 during work ups in the carribean around St. Thomas while it was on landing approach... hydraulic failure caused it to go in the drink before it even made it to the ship... both crewmen ejected safely.

Then a month or so later when we headed out for our Med float, there was an S-3 that had landed (night landing) but hadn't cleared out of the way yet as an EA-6B from VAQ-130 was coming in... the EA-6B was waved off, but it didn't power up enough to gain enough altitude before it clipped the S-3's verticle tail fin and sent the EA-6B crashing into the Atlantic... killing all four in the EA-6B. The S-3 pretty much exploded on impact and the crew ejected, one landing in the water, and the other's chute tangled in the control tower antennas. The plane burned up pretty bad and was so hot started melting the canopies on a few nearby F/A-18's... In the end... the air boss and LSO were canned and were in all sorts of trouble... The crew of the EA-6B was never found except for maybe one if I remember, as well as a helmet that had remains in it... it was a sad tragic day. One of the crew on the EA-6B was like one of the first female pilots on it or something. We searched for days until we were ordered to steam over to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Fox. The S-3 was stripped of any salvageable parts and then dumped in the ocean along the way before we hit the Med. One of the F-18's was too badly damaged to stay on deployment but was still repairable and was off loaded when we stopped in Crete' after Desert Fox and a new one was flown in.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:27:31 AM   #11
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I did a Med cruise aboard the U. S. S. Shangri-la in 1969.

We lost a F-8 Crusader and it's pilot. He caught the #3 wire (perfect landing), started taxing forward while folding the wings, the plane went into AB (after burner)! The pilot had the brakes on as we saw main landing gear left skid marks on the deck! He went off the angle deck into the water. Someone said later that they saw the pilot struggleing with the harnesses when the plane went under.

He was 26 years old and had been married two weeks.

A ship's company electrician was killed when a bomb elevator he was working on (but not locked out) was started by another shipmate. Said bomb elevator ran up to the CLOSED flightdeck hatch and crushed him.

An airdale pulled the ejection seat handles while the aircraft he was in (and A-4 Skyhawk) and killed himself when it hit a overhead beam.

We had a guy step out of the hatch on the island and into the running prop of a Willie Fud (E-1) and lived to tell about it. He had stitches from his ancle to his neck! There was blood 30' up the island from it too!

The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is a dangerous place. You have props, jets, electricity (AC and DC), tow tugs, bombs, rockets, slippery deck, darkness, etc. of which any and all could maim or kill you in the blink of an eye.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:13:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is a dangerous place. You have props, jets, electricity (AC and DC), tow tugs, bombs, rockets, slippery deck, darkness, etc. of which any and all could maim or kill you in the blink of an eye.


Yup... it is a pretty intense place, especially at night. I was always cautious not to be one of those guys who ended up in them safety videos of getting sucked into an intake and turned into hamburger meat. Especially by an F-14 as their intakes were huge. I was also on the USS Nassau, a very small ship, and we had nothing but helicopters and Harriers on that thing... I didn't like being up on the deck when they had virtually every helicopter turning up to launch... too many blades moving around for me. Not cool when someone accidently walks into a tail rotor of a Huey or Cobra.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:39:09 AM   #13
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Yup... it is a pretty intense place, especially at night. I was always cautious not to be one of those guys who ended up in them safety videos of getting sucked into an intake and turned into hamburger meat. Especially by an F-14 as their intakes were huge. I was also on the USS Nassau, a very small ship, and we had nothing but helicopters and Harriers on that thing... I didn't like being up on the deck when they had virtually every helicopter turning up to launch... too many blades moving around for me. Not cool when someone accidentally walks into a tail rotor of a Huey or Cobra.

VERY intense place all day long!

You had to keep your head on a swivel all the time as there many ways to get hurt or killed.

Night launches and recoveries were the worst especially in bad weather or no moon. On most nights you couldn’t see your hand if you held it out in front of you. They taught us to use our night vision = you don’t look directly at something, you look slightly to the side where your night vision is.

I saw a green shirt (flight deck troubleshooter) get sucked into the intake of a F-8 Crusader! A yellow shirt (flight deck boatswain mate) pushed the green shirt out of his way and inadvertently pushed the green shirt to the front of a F-8 sitting right there!

The pilot saw the green shirt disappear from in front of him, (rightfully) assumed that he was headed down the intake, and shut the engine off! Somehow the green shirt kept himself from being sucked all the way to the engine (the intake on an F-8 is 12+’ long. I know because each time before starting the engine up, a plane captain (which I was) had to go down the intake to make sure it was clear of FOD and to look at the turbine blades). The green shirt survived but the next day he had little blood blisters all over his body!

Those kind of things happened in the blink of an eye. From hero to zero faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:14:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal
From what I remember when this accident first came out is that the green pilot boltered (didn't catch an arresting wire) numerous times so they set up the barrier to catch him. He (obviously) came in too high and too fast which caused him to tear the barrier apart. The aircraft then slid down the flight deck, went off the angle deck, and into the water.

I too am confused as to why they didn't send a rescue team to get them out.
As an engineer, I wonder why there wasn't an additional netting attached to the arresting netting to snag the nose of the aircraft on a higher-than-normal attempt. The net would look like the letter "A" with this. It would be easy to add, allow a larger margin for pilot error and still arrest the aircraft.

Those crewmen were dead when the pilot missed the arrest. I can side with the Captain not wanting to lose any more men to this pilots error. One reported that the aircraft broke at the tail and only the tail was floating. Another said the bottom access would have been welded shut skidding across the flight deck.

Doomed. There is no substitute for skill and experience, except luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by muscl car
Another really bad accident when a early version FA18 crashed into the bases chapel killing the pilot.
Now THAT has to have some interesting religious overtones!


Most people do not realize just how dangerous any of the Armed Forces are to be in day-to-day. The increased hazard exposure makes one realize how fortunate they have been if they survive to retirement!
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:13:25 PM   #15
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The barrier (net) was designed for fighter aircraft, not a "heavy" which is what the A3 was classifed as.

I don't think any barrier would have helped either as he cam in TOO high, dove for the deck (a BIG NO NO!) which gave him too much airspeed, = CRASH!

The bottom hatch on the aircraft was probably crushed shut. There is a top hatch which is between the pilots BUT only one person at a time can egress out it.

IF forward fuselage was sheered off and sank, it sank like a rock which wouldn't give the crew any time to get out.

The mission of the carrier is to launch and recover aircraft. Period. So the captain of the carrier did as per normal operating proceedures = he kept the ship moving. Any rescue of aircraft or personnel off of the carrier is for the other ships in the fleet. USUALLY a destroyer or two are positioned for that duty. A carrier does NOT stop on a dime. IF my memory serves me right, even an "emergency all stop" would take MILES of ocean to stop it!
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