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1950 - AJ Savage Crash

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Published on Nov 5, 2012

1950 -- AJ Savage crash:

A short PLAT video from 1950 of an AJ-1 Savage going over the bow after a deck run -- (Donated by Gary Schreffler).

Aircraft: AJ-1 Savage
Date: 27 October 1950
Squadron: VC-5
BuNo: 124163
Crew: The Plane Commander was LCDR Dave Purdon, the B/N was LTJG Ed Decker, and the Third Crewman was Chief Edward R. Barrett.
Known details: The aircraft crashed into the sea on its takeoff run from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. LCDR Dave Purdon Dave and the crewman, Chief Edward R. Barrett, were lost, but B/N LTJG Ed Decker escaped from the wreckage with minor injuries and was rescued by the plane guard helicopter. Analysis of witness statements and movie and still photos failed to positively identify the cause of the accident, but the most likely cause was determined to have been an inadvertent engagement of the flight control gust lock. [Mishap details from http://skaneateles.org/navy/aj_accide...]

Follow-up: The following are emails exchanged between two pilots that were aboard FDR in 1950 [Porter Smith & Bill Greenwood]:

I was on the bridge as JOOD the morning of the TWO crashes of the AJs. We were all standing there stunned at what had just happened when we heard another plane coming down the deck. It was the 2nd AJ. He knew he was going to crash so he banked hard to port and cleared the ship. I don't know how many, if any crew survived. We took the 3rd one back to Malta and dropped it on the dock.
What has always puzzled me was why the navy did not mark out the carrier deck on a runway to see if this ½ jet- ½ prop job had enough power to get airborne in a deck length; which it obviously did not have. So ended the Navy's effort with this plane on carriers.

Vaguely remember this take off. However, do remember the AJ1′s real well. Remember the early trials off of Gitmo of the top secret project, etc. and going ashore in Cuba and seeing headlines in the local paper, "nuclear bomber crashes off carrier."
It might have been the Malta time when they came aboard and I got friendly with the CO and he asked me to go on a flight with them the next morning. I hesitated, citing all the accidents I had seen with them. He said that had all been cleared up now and I could ride in the navigators seat as he was the first one off. I promised to meet him at the ready room the next AM. Something made me back out overnight and I met and said no to the ride. I remember going up in the superstructure to watch the first plane off on the starboard catapult and seeing it plunge in and looking over the side as we went by and seeing helmets bob up to the surface, thinking that there, but for the grace of God, could have been me.

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/commen...

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