Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel
/forum/topic/600984/3759

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nrferguson
Registered: Apr 20, 2004
Total Posts: 1781
Country: United Kingdom

Just back from a trip to the battlefields around Verdun, France. Not much aircraft-wise, but we visited the grave of Hamilton Coolidge, first world war fighter pilot and a friend of Eddie Rickenbacker
Hamilton Coolidge (September 1, 1895 – October 27, 1918), was an American pursuit pilot, flying ace in World War I, and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross.

Coolidge was the great-great-great grandson of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and the best friend of Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt. Ham Coolidge and Quentin Roosevelt attended the Groton School together, attended Harvard together, and served together in the U.S. Army Air Service First Pursuit Group in France. They were killed in action within a few months of each other in 1918.

Coolidge dropped out of Harvard College during his senior year to join the U.S. Army Air Service. He was one of ten Harvard undergraduates accepted from a field of forty applicants for training at the Curtiss Flying School in Buffalo, New York in July 1916.

A private with the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, stationed in Miami, Florida when the United States entered the war, Coolidge was sent the School of Military Aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on June 5, 1917. He embarked for France on July 23, 1917 and was commissioned first lieutenant on September 29, 1917. After serving as a test pilot at Issoudun, he was assigned to the 94th Aero Squadron, commanded by Eddie Rickenbacker, on June 16, 1918. He was promoted to captain on October 3, 1918.

On October 27, 1918, he was killed in action, his SPAD S.XIII taking a direct hit from a German anti-aircraft shell near Grandpré, Ardennes. He had eight confirmed "kills" when he was shot down. Like Quentin Roosevelt, he was posthumously awarded an A.B. {War Degree}, Harvard Class of 1919.

Last year they discovered, buried in the ground next to his grave (he was buried where he fell) the engine of his Spad XIII - you can see what I think is the attachment point for one of the exhaust manifolds in the photo.
Niall



Kingfishphoto
Registered: Nov 26, 2005
Total Posts: 6890
Country: United States

stevez wrote:
I like the way you used a gelled flash to simulate a rotating beacon, Jay. Never seen that done before: good thinking!


Steve - with Jays talent- , its no VON OH WUNDER - it turned out so great. Nice image, per usual Jay .. The aircraft was said to have, i believe a nasty pitch up tendency. The Canadians took the remaining USAF inventory, deliveries and parts.
Harry



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7901
Country: United States

Sad day in aviation today. Jane Wicker and her pilot died in a crash at the Dayton Air Show.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/wing-walkers-plane-crashes-at-dayton-air-show/nYSBY/

I was shooting, but stopped when I saw the wing on the ground. Don't know if I can look at the images on the cameras, but know I need to get them off the cameras and into FAA hands.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

Sorry you witnessed that Laura. Looks like the Stearman stalled when the pilot pitched up after the roll to inverted and half snapped towards upright. Obviously not survivable. Dangerous business.

There's a YouTube that captures the sequence of events clearly. One always wonders how stuff like this can happen with all the practice. Clearly too low, too slow. What a shame.



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7901
Country: United States

Jim, I'm doing ok. My hope is that Mike's wife Lisa (he's a lurker here) is ok. Our prayers went out immediately to Jane's and her pilot's children. The announcers had mentioned she was a single mom as well. I'm now sorting the images.



Wrei
Registered: Aug 01, 2008
Total Posts: 2291
Country: United States

Harry, it had a flight characteristic (feature?) our pilots called "porpoise" due to the stab vacillating during auto pilot. The problem with the pitch up was when a pilot pulled the stick to an attitude where airflow over the wing blocked airflow over the horizontal stab. This caused the F-101 to go into a vertical position, falling tail first towards the ground. The only recovery was to deploy the drag chute. After that, it was ejection time. We lost one because of an improperly installed drag chute fell out on the runway during take off. During the mission the pilot pulled up and stalled. Both guys got out. It was our WSO's third ejection, first in SEA, the other two with us.



ELinder
Registered: Feb 14, 2010
Total Posts: 564
Country: United States

I'm glad I stopped shooting when the wing began to drop. Not sure I'd need to see those photos. I'd much rather focus on the pass before, when all was well and they were doing something they loved. Aviation can be an unforgiving passion.

Erich



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

So sorry Laura. That is always such a shock when relaxing fun turns to tragedy so unexpectedly. Makes it difficult to get your mind around it. Several times in the course of our thread, i have recounted the long list of friends/clients that have gone west in the air show business. Glenn's team is still together as friends, but haven't flown a show since his loss. The right wing in that formation flew his jet home and hasn't flown it since. I've seen it over and over, nothing happens for a few years and the air of invincibility and immortality creeps in, then reality hits. The truth is, it's dangerous, all of it, in different increments. That's what powers the crowd to some degree, unfortunately, and the dance with risk plays a part in the thrill for the performers as well. Like Johnny Rutherford said in his eulogy for Charlie Hillard, "If you don't crawl right up to the edge of the envelope every once in a while and look over the edge, life gets pretty boring......." That edge is different for everyone, for those kinds of folks, it's way out there and that's why they achieve what they do. The odds catch up with us all though, sooner or later.

Anyway, wish some of us were with you today for support during and after, I imagine you are a little shaken. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the performers loved ones. And life goes on............



Mike Deep
Registered: Jun 12, 2009
Total Posts: 160
Country: United States

Thoughts and prayers for everyone out there today.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

Niall, very cool story and photographs.



astrobrian
Registered: Sep 27, 2012
Total Posts: 827
Country: United States

Thoughts and prayers to all those there, rough day.



astrobrian
Registered: Sep 27, 2012
Total Posts: 827
Country: United States

Laura, I don't know what to say really. Agreed the FAA needs those shots, but no idea how one would be able to do it without going into some detached journalist mode or something. We're here for ya if you need us.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

What in the world did we do before we were this family? We take it for granted because it's been a part of our daily routine for quite a while now, but every once in a while the magnitude of what we are here re-dawns on me, it's really something. Our experience here is dotted with births and deaths, tragedy and triumph, joy and sorrow. And learning, lots of learning, across a myriad of subjects.

Aside from the obvious fun, HQ Thursday is a gas for me just because I like sitting back for a minute and watching everyone enjoy each other. I see MA2A in action that day, in person, and that's neat. I hope a couple of things fall into place over the next six months that will allow the personality of HQ to expand as an environment within which to gather, but even if it stays just as it is, it's a cool place for us to be.

Anyway, a backdrop of loss and sadness always makes one appreciate those significant people in one's life with greater clarity, and I appreciate all of you.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

astrobrian wrote:
Laura, I don't know what to say really. Agreed the FAA needs those shots, but no idea how one would be able to do it without going into some detached journalist mode or something. We're here for ya if you need us.



That's what Ya have to do. Although, the sequence of events is extremely clear. The NTSB should be able to put that to bed in about 5 minutes, well they are a governmental agency, so let's give them three or four months.



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7901
Country: United States

Thanks Jim, I was shaken, but my thoughts immediately went to her kids. The last photo in my camera is what I feared it was, on the way to becoming gruesome. Luckily my brain kicked in and disconnected the shutter finger and the camera captured no more. I'll give the disks (four copies for redundancy) to the FAA when I find the information desk tomorrow. Other than that, I don't think I can edit any of these shots. hey were announcing that anyone with video or camera shots to come forward and give them copies. I've got the raw and JPEGs on a DVD disk now. I'll go look at the Fifi shots an the F-86 instead. I had Erich on one side of me, and Mike and Lisa on the other side. I know word spreads quickly, so that's why one of my first text messages was to you. Her pilot today was Charlie Schwenker.


JWilsonphoto wrote:
So sorry Laura. That is always such a shock when relaxing fun turns to tragedy so unexpectedly. Makes it difficult to get your mind around it. Several times in the course of our thread, i have recounted the long list of friends/clients that have gone west in the air show business. Glenn's team is still together as friends, but haven't flown a show since his loss. The right wing in that formation flew his jet home and hasn't flown it since. I've seen it over and over, nothing happens for a few years and the air of invincibility and immortality creeps in, then reality hits. The truth is, it's dangerous, all of it, in different increments. That's what powers the crowd to some degree, unfortunately, and the dance with risk plays a part in the thrill for the performers as well. Like Johnny Rutherford said in his eulogy for Charlie Hillard, "If you don't crawl right up to the edge of the envelope every once in a while and look over the edge, life gets pretty boring......." That edge is different for everyone, for those kinds of folks, it's way out there and that's why they achieve what they do. The odds catch up with us all though, sooner or later.

Anyway, wish some of us were with you today for support during and after, I imagine you are a little shaken. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the performers loved ones. And life goes on............


I'll be ok, I'm pretty sure, might take a bit of time to make sure that there's no nightmares or anything. I can't imagine the detachment the inspectors have to do to watch all these videos and look at all the shots from air show accidents.

astrobrian wrote:
Laura, I don't know what to say really. Agreed the FAA needs those shots, but no idea how one would be able to do it without going into some detached journalist mode or something. We're here for ya if you need us.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

I've got several friends that are NTSB/FAA investigators, it's weird how detached they are. I guess that's good, you don't want your heart surgeon getting all emotional while he's working on you, guess it's kind of the same thing. They have to develop an analytical detachment that allows them to do their job. Can't imagine what they see play on their eyelids at night, don't want to.

God has spared me the experience several times, I was supposed to ride down and back to SNF with Charlie, but couldn't due to a West Coast assignment, couldn't go with Glenn to Davenport because of three assignments. I would have had to have spent the night with him in that field until the NTSB released him to the medical examiner, and I doubt that I would have recovered well from that duty, it's been difficult enough as it is.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16413
Country: United States

Something only a few people know, is that Charlie always carried The Lord's Prayer in his flight suit pocket, that day was no different. Much more significant is the fact that he carried Trust in Christ in the heart that was behind that pocket, a "game changer" as they say these days.



Kingfishphoto
Registered: Nov 26, 2005
Total Posts: 6890
Country: United States

Eddie - Thanks for for the run down on the 101s flight characteristcs. Theres a beauty in Canada at the RCAF Museum near Toronto , best restored one i have everseen. The information on RCAF buying whats left from the U.S. , is posted in detain at the RCAF museum at Halifax. I quess for Air Defense, the just flew it longer than we did or wanted to do. Big aera up there looking at the Big Red Bear.
Harry



PeterGlaso
Registered: Jul 28, 2008
Total Posts: 594
Country: Norway



anthonysemone
Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 4648
Country: United States

Indeed, crew, what a sad day, and especially so for you, Laura, and your compatriots who witnessed the crash. And the pain and the sorrow of the families of these aviators. Ain't no words for that!

Not any good way to transition to these pics, save to say that I was enormously blessed to have been able to spend time with the men and women of 2ID at Camp Casey, South Korea. These pics are a testimony to those men and women, who, 8 clicks from the DMZ, are training, day and night, in and out, 24/7. Should that little fat )*&^ in NK make a mistake, these puppies will ring a door bell at 20 miles.

I got to stand in the turret and watch these guys engage in a mock firing cycle - let's just say that their talent produces a prodigious rate of fire for 155mm Howitzer



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