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The hangar queen


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A friend of mine served as pilot with the Canadian Air Force in Germany. He was based in the Black Forest at the Canadian air force base near the city of Baden-Baden and flew the Starfighter.

One of these planes was CAF666, serial # 104666, a dual operational aircraft, which was not only highly unpopular with mechanics, it was also hated for its persistent unreliability by pilots throughout its service life. My friend told me that pilots called it “Jet from Hell”, while the mechanics referred to it as “Hangar Queen”. As no one was really keen flying the plane, it had only flown 50 hours in its last four years in service.

CAF666 had its last flight on March 5, 1975, when shortly before take-off to a routine flight from Baden-Soellingen to France, one of the two brand-new main tires exploded at 190 knots. And, to make matters worse, the canopy didn’t jettison properly, so the two pilots remained in the plane until it had skidded to a halt in a field behind the runway. Then both were able to climb out of the wreckage, fortunately unharmed.

 

This is the plane in question, CAF666, parked at Baden-Soellingen Air Base. Luckily, I had a wonderful flight from here to Friedrichshafen at Lake Constance :)

TF-104-G-1.jpg

 

TF-104-G-2.jpg

 

TF-104-G-4.jpg

 

TF-104-G-8.jpg

 

TF-104-G-12.jpg

 

TF-104-G-13.jpg

 

I like that shiny design

TF-104-G-14.jpg

 

TF-104-G-15.jpg

 

Let’s get outta here

TF-104-G-15a.jpg

 

FL520. Now, that’s much better

TF-104-G-16.jpg

 

TF-104-G-22.jpg

 

Over Lake Constance

TF-104-G-23.jpg

 

TF-104-G-24.jpg

 

TF-104-G-25.jpg

 

Long final into Friedrichshafen

TF-104-G-26.jpg

 

TF-104-G-27.jpg

 

TF-104-G-28.jpg

 

Edited by bernd1151
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Very nice pictured storyline of the unrealiable 'flying rocket' and beatiful shots of the shiny virtual replica in a mighty cloudy sky.

Also the Belgian Air Force had problems and accidents with their 'Starfighters' like most othet NATO-Countries with this bird in their fleet.

Luckely that the F-16 was and is still a fine successor, I hope for the same and even better with the comming F-35 in our Belgian Air Force.  

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Great historical background on that Flying Lawn Dart your friend new about. Some great images you have of her in flight here Bernd. :) 

 

Landon

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Great narration, shiny shots and a good piloting, Bernd.

 

20 hours ago, bernd1151 said:

I like that shiny design

... and that was probably the major reason why some politicians decided to buy this machine...

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"What's in a number?" - a phrase that is often used in relation to aircraft with a "devilish" tail number...

I feel for your friend, Bernd. We had a Lynx AH1 in Hildesheim with that tail number. Our nickname for the beast was "Trembling Six". It had vibration problems without end. It was also our Hangar Queen and spent a lot of time as an "organ donor" because she spent more of her life as a "Christmas Tree" than actually flying.

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