Too Close For Comfort


The F8F in this startling series of pictures was piloted by an Ensign who was making his eighth landing in carrier qualification. On this approach he eased power in the groove and settled at the ramp, losing sight of the landing signal officer. He began a wave-off to the left; however, his speed was such that the right wing stalled out and headed the plane for the island. The pilot managed to pull the plane over the after gun mounts, and at this time the left wing stalled out, flipping the plane over on its back and again heading for the island.

 In the large pictures which accompanied the accident report, the position of the control surfaces can bee seen clearly, and indicate that the pilot was really "flying" his aircraft at all times. From his position in Picture Number 6 the pilot managed to level his plane again jus before it mushed into the water with wheels and flaps down. The plane flipped over on its back and sank within 20 seconds. Shoulder harness and safety belt were snug and prevented any injury to the pilot on impact with the water. Heads-up photography on board the USS Tarawa produced this series.


Photo 1, 2 & 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7

Photo 8

Thank to Tom Bispo for sending this one to me.