F14 aircraft explodes in mid air - video

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F14 aircraft explodes in mid air - video

F14 aircraft explodes in mid air after reaching the sound barrier. The crash occurred when the pilot (Lt. Cmdr John Stacy Bates) exceeded the performance specs of the F-14 he was flying.

An engine failed when he attempted a high-speed high-angle maneuver after the flyby, causing the explosion that destroyed the aircraft. Both the pilot and the RIO were able to eject with only minor burns to their upper body.

Bates' squadron has had four F-14 accidents in the past 16 months, including one last April in which he was the pilot.

Bates apparently lost control of his F-14. He and the radar intercept officer managed to eject from the aircraft before it went down into the Pacific Ocean. The aircraft was never recovered.


A review of the accident investigation shows Naval investigators concluded the loss of the airplane was due to "pilot error" because Bates failed to take the required action to prevent his plane from going into an uncontrollable spin after an engine stall.

According to the internal document, the actions of Bates and his navigator were "indicative of a need for further training ... on ... recovery techniques."

After a review, Bates was found fully qualified for return to flight status, said Cmdr. Gregg Hartung, a Navy spokesman.
By netchicken: posted on 5-10-2006

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