QantasA332
Topic Author
Posts: 1473
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 5:47 pm

Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:46 am

A while back (3-4 yrs, maybe), I had the misfortune of seeing an F-14A or B crash at the Willow Grove Airshow in Pennsylvania. It was performing a low pass over a wooded area, and slowly disappeared into the forest. Following its disappearance was a large smoke plume. I noticed that just before it went out of sight, a small puff of what appeared to be smoke came from somewhere around either the front or rear canopies. What I want to know is, of course, what was this puff?

Cheers,
QantasA332
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:03 pm

IF it was around the front or rear canopy it was *hopefully* an ejection seat that would have let the crew to hopefuly escape.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:06 pm

Planespotting is right. It was probably the canopy being blown clear before the ejection sequence for the seat started. Hopefully...
 
QantasA332
Topic Author
Posts: 1473
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:52 pm

You would think it was ejection related, but neither of the two crew had ejected at all... Any other ideas?

Cheers,
QantasA332
 
goboeing
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:19 pm

I was at this airshow. I didn't see the puff of smoke in person, but after watching it on the news over and over I saw it also. What else on an F-14 would make this puff of smoke, and would it normally happen in this flight condition? It certainly would not be good publicity if the public knew that the ejection seats had failed and the pilots could have survived.

Nick
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:24 pm

What a tragedy that crash was...I had just left the airshow about an hour before it happened...pretty sure I heard it happen from my house...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
airhead711
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 7:38 am

RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:21 am

You can see the video on this site

http://www.stevesairshow.com/sofa00-videos.html

It's the last video at the bottom of the page.I watched it a few times but don't see any puff of smoke around the canopy.

S
 
QantasA332
Topic Author
Posts: 1473
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:06 am

It certainly would not be good publicity if the public knew that the ejection seats had failed and the pilots could have survived.

I believe it was said that the pilots could have survived, but turned the plane away from built-up areas before considering to eject at all. I suppose by the time they would have ejected, it would have been too late...

I watched it a few times but don't see any puff of smoke around the canopy.

It's hard to see the puff in that video, as it was when I was present at the 'real thing'. However, the news footage later that evening clearly showed (it might even have been in slow-mo) the puff...

Any other ideas as to what it might have been?

Cheers,
QantasA332

(By the way, thanks for the link. It's quite disturbing footage, especially because I was there.)
 
DeltaGuy
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Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:50 am

Can't think of any other ideas.....the crew probably had just started the ejection sequence, which obviously wasn't in time...jettissonin the canopy would do that, and you can do that without ejecting. Sad scene man...

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
klm744
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 12:53 pm

RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Sun Apr 25, 2004 1:41 pm

Does anyone know what the exact cause of that crash was. To me it looks as if the plane went into a stall and they couldn't get enough lift to pull them out of the dive, or either they lost an engine and the lack of thrust or asymetric thrust caused them to go down.
 
Beefmoney
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 2:16 am

RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:49 pm

What it looks like to me, watching the video over and over again, it looks like when they try to roll and pull out of the invert it stalls and drops a wing, which causes it to lose more altitude, which causes them to pull back hard again to avoid the terrain, which causes them to stall and drop the wing again, and by then it was too late.

Sad.
 
QantasA332
Topic Author
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:25 am

If I recall correctly, it was an engine failure, as the F-14As/Bs supposedly quite commonly lose engines...

Cheers,
QantasA332
 
LMP737
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:39 am

QantasA332:

As someone who worked on the F-14A for three and a half years I can personally attest to the troulbesome nature of the TF-30. Stalls were quite common with the engine. Especially when we were doing ACM training. The GE F110 on the F-14B/D on the other hand is an awesome engine. It put out 8000lbs (per engine) more thrust than the TF-30. To top it off it almost never stalls.

With the F110 an F-14B/D pilot can stand the Tomcat on it's tail slam the throttles from idle to full burner and not have so much as a hick-up from the engines.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
garnetpalmetto
Posts: 5352
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RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Mon Apr 26, 2004 8:34 am

Qantas, it would only be the -As. The -Bs and -Ds both use the same engines - the F-110-GE-400, while the -As used the underpowered TF-30P-414A. At any rate, one can't blame the engines necessarily in this case, as VF-101 operates all three variants of the Tomcat and I've still not been able to find information as to which variant it was that crashed. It looks to me though, as if it was pilot error, first of all in pushing the aircraft too much after the "missed approach maneuver" and then in failing to allow the aircraft to accelerate to gain energy. That last second bank to the left was not a controlled bank, but the secondary departure dropping the left wing. The aircraft was just not flying at the time. As much as it pains me to say it, and without knowing more, it looks like pilot error.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
klm744
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 12:53 pm

RE: Question Regarding F-14 Crash...

Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:56 pm

Could it be that the pilots who were flying the demo jet which may have been an f14 A , may have been used to an f14 b or d, and were not used to the lower thrust and ended up pushing the a/c too hard? Or do the pilots usually stick to one type of a/c.

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