Registered: 1167597086 Posts: 2,596
60 years ago today, the 71st FIS at Selfridge was receiving F-102 Interceptors. The first supersonic aircraft to be based at MTC.Less than a year later, the Squadron commander shot down his wing-man by salvoing 6 live Falcon missiles at him. According to the accident report, the boss man was supposed to be flying a jet loaded with 3 WSEMS (dummies), but ground aborted that jet and jumped into one loaded with 6 live Falcon missiles and 24x 2.75" rockets. They were supposed to make a couple of intercepts on a T-bird and then the boss was supposed to recover to Jackson, MI for a strange field recovery & turn. But the T-bird did not show, so they paired the Sq CC on his 1LT wingman. Apparently forgetting that he had live weapons, not WSEMs onboard, the boss selected "Missiles ALL" and armed them up. When the trigger was depressed, everything worked like it should have and all 6 Falcons fired. One struck the right wing of 56-1104 and blew up. The LT read the writing on the wall & ejected. Ground observers saw the hit and counted the doomed deuce to make "33 slow left-hand spirals" before it hit the ground flat & right side up, 13 miles north-east of Jackson, MI.A short while later, a unit (the 325th FIS out of Truax I think) was TDY to Richards-Gebaur AFB, MO while their runway was under reconstruction. While there, they ran an intercept against a local 326th FIS T-bird, with the same results. The T-bird drivers were at high altitude & saw the Falcons coming and from what I recall, promptly did a high-speed, aft stick stall (turn attempt) to try to make them miss. In any event, both guys also hit the silk & there was much bad blood between the units after that. At the time of the accidents, there was nothing on the aircraft as to whether they were armed or not, just an entry in the logbook. As part of the corrective action, shortly after that large red warning placards were painted on the sides of all tactical / interceptor aircraft so that everyone could see whether it was armed or not. Those eventually morphed into the well known red & white placards, which are now usually simply a black stenciled outline located on the a/c fuselage somewhere near where the pilots entry ladder is placed. Incidentally, in the two years that the 71st flew the Deuce, they lost 8 out of 27 single-seaters. How do you think the USAF would take that sort of a loss rate in todays world? That story is guaranteed to be a sidebar in the F-102 book.....