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Hot rod was here.

After getting checked out in an SNB two-engine trainer on the previous day, a volunteer reserve pilot was cleared for a local familiarization flight with passengers on board. He made several practice landings and then left the field and flew to an area about 40 miles to the northeast of the station, where he proceeded to attempt a series of wingovers. He stated that it was his intention to keep the airspeed between 70 and 170 knots during these maneuvers. His altitude was about 12,000 feet.

Halfway through the third wingover, he lost control of the SNB. The passengers felt the nose of the plane whip around violently. Recovery was made in a steep dive with the airspeed needle indicating 230 knots.

The pilot retarded the throttles and tried a shallow pullout. During this part of the recovery, the curved portions of the windshield cracked, the copilot's side window blew out and one passenger window was broken. The aircraft lost 4,000 feet in the recovery.

Structural damage to the aircraft was severe. Inspection showed bent spars, popped rivets and buckles in the fuselage skin. The SNB was declared a strike.

Grampaw Pettibone says:

When I read about a fool stunt like this, I want to get the axe down off the wall and set out after the pilot. I'll bet the passengers who were along for this ride feel the same way. Actually, they are darn lucky to be alive. We think of the SNB as a relatively inexpensive training plane, but it may surprise you to know one costs the Navy $72,886 in flyaway condition.

I can't take the space to list all the orders this pilot violated, not counting terrifying the folks in the back, but here is the most important one: Technical Order 6-49 restricts the SNB-JRB type to "normal flying." In case there is a doubt in anyone's mind, wingovers are not considered "normal flying" in the SNB. As a result of this incident, the pilot has been grounded and ordered to appear before an Aviator's Disposition Board.
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Title Annotation:analysis of volunteer pilot who mishandled SNB two-engine training aircraft
Author:Pettibone, Grawpaw
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 1, 2002
Previous Article:Sea Knight: Workhorse of the Fleet.
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