U.S. Navy F-4J Phantom II aircraft takeoff and crash in St. Louis, Missouri; Firemen fight fire engulfing crashed aircraft
Saint Louis Missouri USA Date:1968, March 20 Duration:3 min 51 sec Sound:NO SOUND
U.S. Navy McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II crashes at St. Louis, Missouri. It was test flight #155557 MAC 2833. The F-4J aircraft taxis for take off, lifts off and climbs steeply. Pilot and co-pilot eject. (Both survived: Pilot C. D. "Pete" Pilcher, Production Test Pilot, McDonnell Douglas Corporation; and Radar Observer Harvey A. Begay in backseat position.) Plane moves flatly through air in vertical position. It loses all speed. Aircraft falls flatly, impacts runway and explodes into a huge fireball. Black smoke billows up from impact area. Plane continues to burn. F-4J ablaze. Crash crew makes way to fire. Ambulance on ground. Pilot Pilcher and Radar Observer Begay meet-up together with other personnel on the airfield and observe the blazing aircraft from which they had ejected. They walk around a military station wagon. The two crew members examine ejection seat on runway. Ejection seat resting on runway. Two pilots get into a station wagon with other civilian personnel. Collapsed chute laying on grass. View of ejection seat. Blown canopy, other debris lying about runway in the background. F-4J still ablaze. Fire engine enters and moves down a runway. Firemen wade knee-deep through foam while fighting fire. Heavy smoke rises from wreckage. Crashed F-4J, heavy foam in the foreground. Fireman direct more foam into opening of F-4J while smoke is pouring out.
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