Registered: 1452814847 Posts: 15
On the question of looping or rolling a P-3; I was attached to VP-4 in 1969-70 and there was a story in the squadron that one Lt G. (won't use his full name) did a barrel roll with one. I flew with him once and he seemed like a frustrated fighter pilot wanna-be.
Registered: 1465069299 Posts: 1
I am a 43 year Lockheed Field Service P-3 Tech rep currently working with the P-3-AEW and P-3-LRT. In view of my long association with the P-3, I am surprised that today was the first time I had even heard of this accident. i was looking up info on one of the aircraft I recently worked with 152170 (I was on its final flight in Sept 2011) and noted that the next S/N aircraft had crashed, then looked up the info. ending up on this message board. I am offering the following information in response to items I noted in the messages. Doubtful the info will be any help in the investigation, but then, every little piece of the puzzle can possibly help.
The part number you noted 916234-159 is for the "RADOME BOOM ASSY", AKA the "MAD Boom", the "stinger" on the back end of the aircraft, part of the aft radome. 916234 is the basic P/N for the Aft Radome assembly with multiple dash numbers for various applications, and sub parts. the -159 would be a fiberglass resin part, as was most of the radome. Modifications were made to the design of the aircraft and various parts even before the first aircraft was finished, therefore, the mention of being only one year old would not be a limiting factor. I have "heard" that Lockheed test pilot Jay Beasley (AKA "Mr. P-3") had done a barrel roll in a P-3, I believe it is true. Jay was legendary in the P-3 community, and remained in part time employ of Lockheed after his retirement about 1975. He passed away 1996 in Jacksonville FL, just a few miles from the Hangar that had already been named for him, on a day when he had planned to be having a meeting in that hangar with P-3 Pilots. I had encountered and spoken with Jay several times and once rode with (Jay driving a rental car) from the Portland Maine airport to NAS Brunswick. http://articles.latimes.com/1996-05-18/local/me-5521_1_jay-beasley. I think there is a You Tube video made from a Norwegian P-3 of it doing a barrel roll. I couldn't tell for sure, and am not sure it isn't doctored, but it looks real to me. It is likely that the black smoke that had been noted by a child was the characteristic black smoke that can still be seen from each engine when under power. Those turbine engines were designed before all the environmental efforts were being enforced, and fuels in 1966 were not nearly as clean as today. I suspect, from the reports sounding like the engines were at full power, that a great deal of black engine smoke would have been visible coming from all engines. The report about the pilot being a "Hotdog" sounds very much like reports that were verified about the pilot of the P-3 that flew under a tram line, chopping off its tail and crashing into a hotel in Pago Pago in 1980. I'm wondering if the report mentioned earlier in this forum could have been a confusion from that crash. Of course, there are probably many P-3 pilots that wish they were flying fighters, and therefore, likely that more than one accident has been caused by that attitude. There is also the possibility of a lightning strike, which usually is barely noticed by the crews, but has also been known to cause a great deal of damage. I was amazed that investigators had left anything, any part of the aircraft at the crash site, but then, in 1966, things were done differently. As an example, at 7PM. on Nov 22, 1963, I had driven my car over the exact spot in Dallas where Kennedy was shot. If that had happened today, you wouldn't be able to get within two blocks of that spot for a month. __________________
Registered: 1167597086 Posts: 2,261
Thanks CJ for the info, PM sent to you
Registered: 1468961440 Posts: 1
I lived next door to Charles Lurvey. He was my best friend. We went to technical school together, graduated as auto mechanics. He chose the Navy, I chose the USAF. I was home on leave the 4th of July, just missed seeing him.
Thanks for the hard work gathering the information. __________________ Ted G
Registered: 1486133952 Posts: 1
In 1966 I lived in Battle Creek in an area known as Verona (NE Capitol and Emmett St.) I heard the Orion sounding very strange. the years have dimmed but I would have said it was coming from the West to the East (that would be inconsistent with the reported facts). I headed out to the North expecting that a crash was eminent. I did not see but heard the engines overreving and what I visualized to be a full up stall. I found the crash site in Pennfield and was the very first on the hill. In those days I was driving a Green 57 Chevy. The site was not in open flame but lots of smoke. My lasting recollection is of a limbless body in an Orange jump suit entangled in a tree. The nose was buried at least 30 feet in the ground not much was recognizable. A firend of mine, Lyle Rollehagen, arrived shortly there after I would say we were the first on the hill in autos. I was researching the Orion and its radios for a completely disassociated project. I am an electronics engineer by training. This work kindled these memories. Lyle and I were each members of the Emmett Rescue Squad a volunteer ambulance service in the near area; we with this credential and personal associations gain access to the site a day or two later. my recollection is that the forward portion of the plane was not fully recovered but buried at the site. The consensus of the day was that there was an uncontained electrical fire that ate away control cables and electrical wiring and that the plane was uncontrollable; this also seems inconsistent with later published reports. Long ago and now far away from my home in Flagstaff AZ. Ted Hartson Feb 2017
Registered: 1167597086 Posts: 2,261
Thanks Ted for your eyewitness account
a correction to the original 1st post. The time of the crash was 3:40 pm local time. The time cited in the 1st post was zulu time 2040, which is what was in the official accident report.
Registered: 1494440247 Posts: 1
WOW, this is amazing. This P-3A was en route to Glenview NAS to pick up my dad (PV-19 Ron Gunther, AME 2nd Cl. Aviation Metalsmith Safety Equipment) and continue back to Moffett Field in Sunnyvale. Just a couple days earlier this crew dropped off my dad and another serviceman at Glenview NAS on their way out to New York (he thinks there was also a serviceman dropped at St. Louis in the first leg).
Please reach out to me Dave, so you can interview and speak with my dad (as well as anyone else who would like to contact him). He said no one ever really heard or found out anything more until today when I was on the phone and reading these posts to him! He agrees that all the loose equipment on board would have kept the pilots, no matter how bold, from even contemplating any loop, but that a barrel roll could be in possible consideration. He serviced this squadron, and every inch of the planes of this Squadron and their systems. My dad appreciates all this information and the investigation that is ongoing.
I set up a webpage on their US Navy Patrol Squadron 19 (VP-19):
https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Category:US Navy Patrol Squadron 19 (VP-19) I will now add links for the lost crewmen. Anyone from the Squadron, please reach out to me if you knew my dad and we will re-unite you! My dad does have the Squadron yearbooks out as well. The Lockheed P-3A Orion also has a page on Wikipedia, including reference to this crash (that is how I found the link to arrive on this page here created by Dave). I just found a VP-19 crewmates page at: http://www.vpnavy.com/vp19_shipmates.html Best wishes, Russ Gunther, son of Ron Gunther RussArizona@gmail.com __________________ Russ Gunther Phoenix, Arizona