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Thread: John McCain: lies about his pilot mishaps

  1. #1
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Default John McCain: lies about his pilot mishaps

    Source: L.A. Times

    Mishaps mark John McCain's record as naval aviator


    Three crashes early in his career led Navy officials to question or fault his judgment.

    By Ralph Vartabedian and Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
    October 6, 2008


    John McCain was training in his AD-6 Skyraider on an overcast Texas morning
    in 1960 when he slammed into Corpus Christi Bay and sheared the skin off his
    plane's wings.

    McCain recounted the accident decades later in his autobiography. "The
    engine quit while I was practicing landings," he wrote. But an investigation
    board at the Naval Aviation Safety Center found no evidence of engine failure.

    The 23-year-old junior lieutenant wasn't paying attention and erred in
    using
    "a power setting too low to maintain level flight in a turn,"
    investigators concluded.

    The crash was one of three early in McCain's aviation career in which his
    flying skills and judgment were faulted or questioned by Navy officials.


    In his most serious lapse, McCain was "clowning" around in a Skyraider over
    southern Spain about December 1961 and flew into electrical wires, causing
    a blackout, according to McCain's own account as well as those of naval
    officers and enlistees aboard the carrier Intrepid. In another incident, in
    1965, McCain crashed a T-2 trainer jet in Virginia.

    After McCain was sent to Vietnam, his plane was destroyed in an explosion
    on the deck of an aircraft carrier in 1967. Three months later, he was shot
    down during a bombing mission over Hanoi and taken prisoner. He was not
    faulted in either of those cases and was later lauded for his heroism as a
    prisoner of war.

    As a presidential candidate, McCain has cited his military service --
    particularly his 5 1/2 years as a POW. But he has been less forthcoming
    about his mistakes in the cockpit.

    The Times interviewed men who served with McCain and located once-
    confidential 1960s-era accident reports and formerly classified evaluations of
    his squadrons during the Vietnam War. This examination of his record
    revealed a pilot who early in his career was cocky, occasionally cavalier and
    prone to testing limits.


    In today's military, a lapse in judgment that causes a crash can end a pilot's
    career. Though standards were looser and crashes more frequent in the 1960
    s, McCain's record stands out.


    "Three mishaps are unusual," said Michael L. Barr, a former Air Force pilot with
    137 combat missions in Vietnam and an internationally known aviation safety
    expert who teaches in USC's Aviation Safety and Security Program. "After the
    third accident, you would say: Is there a trend here in terms of his flying
    skills and his judgment?"

    Jeremiah Pearson, a Navy officer who flew 400 missions over Vietnam without
    a mishap and later became the head of human spaceflight at NASA,
    said: "That's a lot. You don't want any. Maybe he was just unlucky."

    Naval aviation experts say the three accidents before McCain's deployment
    to Vietnam probably triggered a review to determine whether he should be
    allowed to continue flying. The results of the review would have been
    confidential.

    The Times asked McCain's campaign to release any military personnel records
    in the candidate's possession showing how the Navy handled the three
    incidents. The campaign said it would have no comment.

    Navy veterans who flew with McCain called him a good pilot.
    "John was what you called a push-the-envelope guy," said Sam H. Hawkins,
    who flew with McCain's VA-44 squadron in the 1960s and now teaches
    political science at Florida Atlantic University. "There are some naval aviators
    who are on the cautious side. They don't get out on the edges, but the
    edges are where you get the maximum out of yourself and out of your plane.
    That's where John operated. And when you are out there, you take risks."

    The young McCain has often been described as undisciplined and fearless --
    a characterization McCain himself fostered in his autobiography.


    "In his military career, he was a risk-taker and a daredevil," said John
    Karaagac, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International
    Studies and the author of a book on McCain. "What was interesting was that
    he got into accidents, and it didn't rattle his nerves. He takes hits and still
    stands."

    McCain, the son and grandson of admirals, had a privileged status in the
    Navy. He was invited to the captain's cabin for dinner on the maiden voyage
    of the Enterprise in 1962, a perk other aviators and sailors attributed to his
    famous name, recalled Gene Furr, an enlisted man who shared an office and
    went on carrier deployments with McCain over three years.

    On another occasion, McCain was selected to make a commemorative landing
    on the Enterprise and had his picture taken in front of a cake in the officers'
    galley, Furr said.

    McCain's commanders sarcastically dubbed him "Ace McCain" because of his
    string of pre-Vietnam accidents,
    recalled Maurice Rishel, who commanded
    McCain's VA-65 squadron in early 1961, when it was deployed in the
    Mediterranean. Still, Rishel said, "he did his job."

    Here is a closer look at those three incidents:

    Corpus Christi, Texas, March 12, 1960
    McCain was practicing landings in his AD-6 Skyraider over Corpus Christi Bay
    when he lost several hundred feet of altitude "without realizing it" and struck
    the water, according to the Naval Aviation Safety Center accident report on
    file at the Naval Historical Center in Washington.

    The plane, a single-engine propeller plane designed for ground attack, sank
    10 feet to the bottom of the bay. McCain swam to the surface and was
    plucked from the water by a rescue helicopter.

    While he has contended that the engine quit, investigators collected
    extensive evidence indicating otherwise. Cockpit instruments that froze on
    impact showed the engine was still producing power. When water quenched
    the exhaust stack, it preserved a bright blue color, showing that the engine
    was still hot. And an aviator behind McCain reported that the engine was
    producing the black smoke characteristic of Skyraiders.

    Investigators determined that McCain was watching instruments in his
    cockpit that indicated the position of his landing gear and had lost track of
    his altitude and speed.

    The report concluded: "In the opinion of the board, the pilot's preoccupation
    in the cockpit . . . coupled with the use of a power setting too low to
    maintain level flight in a turn were the primary causes of this accident."

    Southern Spain, around December 1961
    McCain was on a training mission when he flew low and ran into electrical
    wires. He brought his crippled Skyraider back to the Intrepid, dragging 10
    feet of wire, sailors and aviators recalled.

    In his 1999 autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain briefly recounts
    the incident, calling it the result of "daredevil clowning" and "flying too low."
    McCain did not elaborate on what happened, and The Times could find no
    military records of the accident.

    When he struck the wires, McCain severed an oil line in his plane, said Carl
    Russ, a pilot in McCain's squadron. McCain's flight suit and the cockpit were
    soaked in oil, added Russ, who nonetheless said McCain was a good pilot.

    The next day, McCain went to the flight deck with his superior officers and
    some of the crew to inspect the damage. A gaggle of sailors surrounded the
    plane.

    Clark Sherwood, an enlistee responsible for hanging ordnance on the
    squadron's planes, recalled standing on the deck with McCain. "I said, 'You're
    lucky to be alive.' McCain said, 'You bet your ass I am,' " Sherwood said. "He
    almost bought the farm." Sherwood, now a real estate agent in New Jersey,
    said he considered McCain a hero.

    Calvin Shoemaker, a retired test pilot for the Skyraider's manufacturer,
    Douglas Aircraft, said extended low-level flights are difficult in any aircraft
    and for that reason Skyraiders were seldom flown at altitudes below 500 feet.

    After hearing a description of McCain's record, Shoemaker said the aviator
    appeared to be a "flat-hatter," an old aviation term for a showoff.


    Cape Charles, Va., Nov. 28, 1965
    Over the Eastern Shore of Virginia, McCain descended below 7,000 feet on
    a landing approach in a T-2 trainer jet, according to accident records. He
    said he heard an explosion in his engine and lost power. He said he tried
    unsuccessfully to restart the engine.

    He spotted a local drag strip and considered trying to glide to a landing
    there but finally had to eject at 1,000 feet. The plane crashed in the
    woods. McCain escaped injury and was picked up by a farmer.

    In his autobiography, McCain said he had flown on a Saturday to Philadelphia
    to watch the annual Army-Navy football game with his parents. The accident
    report does not mention Philadelphia but rather indicates that McCain
    departed from a now-closed Navy field in New York City on Sunday afternoon
    and was headed to Norfolk, Va.

    In a report dated Jan. 18, 1966, the Naval Aviation Safety Center said it
    could not determine the cause of the accident or corroborate McCain's
    account of an explosion in the engine. A close examination of the engine
    found "no discrepancies which would have caused or contributed to engine
    failure or malfunction."


    The report found that McCain, then assigned to squadron VT-7 in Meridian,
    Miss., had made several errors: He failed to switch the plane's power system
    to battery backup, which "seriously jeopardized his survival chances." His
    idea of landing on the drag strip was "viewed with concern and is indicative
    of questionable emergency procedure."

    The report added, "It may be indeed fortunate that the pilot was not in a
    position to attempt such a landing."

    McCain also ejected too late and too low, was not wearing proper flight
    equipment and positioned his body improperly before ejecting, the report said.


    The official record includes comments from pilots in his own squadron who
    defended McCain's actions as "proper and timely."

    About two weeks after issuing its report, the safety center revised its
    findings and said the accident resulted from the failure or malfunction of
    an "undetermined component of the engine."

    Edward M. Morrison, a mechanic for VT-7 who is now retired and living in
    Washington state, said that the plane McCain checked out that day had
    just been refurbished and that he knew of no engine problems.

    "McCain came to the flight line that day, carrying his dress whites, and
    said, 'Give me a pretty plane,' " Morrison said. "Nobody had ever asked me
    for a pretty plane before. I gave him this one because it was freshly painted.
    The next time I saw him, I said, 'Don't ever ask me for a pretty plane again.'
    I think he laughed."


    In Vietnam
    McCain was a pilot on the carrier Forrestal, off the coast of Vietnam, when
    one of the worst accidents in Navy history killed 134 crew members and
    damaged or destroyed various aircraft, including McCain's.

    On July 29, 1967, he and other pilots were preparing for a bombing raid
    when a Zuni rocket from one of the planes misfired.

    The rocket hit the plane next to McCain's, killing the pilot, igniting jet fuel
    and touching off a chain of explosions, according to the Navy investigation.
    McCain, who jumped from the nose of his jet and ran through the flames,
    suffered minor shrapnel wounds.

    Three months later, McCain was on his 23rd bombing mission over North
    Vietnam when a surface-to-air missile struck his A-4 attack jet. He was
    flying 3,000 feet above Hanoi.

    A then-secret report issued in 1967 by McCain's squadron said the aviators
    had learned to stay at an altitude of 4,000 to 10,000 feet in heavy surface-
    to-air missile environments and look for approaching missiles.

    "Once the SAM was visually acquired, it was relatively easy to outmaneuver
    it by a diving maneuver followed by a high-G pull-up. The critical problem
    comes during multiple SA-II attacks (6-12 missiles), when it is not possible
    to see or maneuver with each missile."

    The American aircraft had instruments that warned pilots with a certain tone
    when North Vietnamese radar tracked them and another tone when a missile
    locked on them.

    In his autobiography, McCain said 22 missiles were fired at his squadron that
    day. "I knew I should roll out and fly evasive maneuvers, 'jinking,' in fliers'
    parlance, when I heard the tone," he wrote. But, he said, he continued on
    and released his bombs. Then a missile blew off his right wing.

    Vietnam veterans said McCain did exactly what they did on almost every
    mission.

    Frank Tullo, an Air Force pilot who flew 100 missions over North Vietnam, said
    his missile warning receiverconstantly sounded in his cockpit.

    "Nobody broke off on a bombing run," said Tullo, later a commercial pilot and
    now an accident investigation instructor at USC. "It was a matter of
    manhood."


    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member WesCAdle's Avatar
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    I would like to hear why the Viet Cong chose McCain to remain at the Hanoi Hilton. One could speculate that he gave them anti American information in return for his life. This IMO is as relevant as the links they speculate exist Obama has with Ayres. Perhaps the liberal media should investigate. McCain's infidelity with Cindy make me wonder if he cheated on his wife and family why would he be even remotely truthful to me and the American public. I have wondered this about him since his first run for pres
    as privileged as a whore...victims in demand for public show, swept out through the cracks beneath the door, holier than thou, how?

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Just what we need. Anoter guy who pushes the envelope for President of the United Sates. Oh,yeah.
    VOTE,EVERYONE!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    McCain: Still Irresponsible After All These Years.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    As a pilot, McCain crashed three planes and now he wants to be Commander-in-Chief. Just like Dubya wanted to be the CEO president, after bankrupting every company he ever ran in Texas.

    Quote Originally Posted by WesCAdle View Post
    I would like to hear why the Viet Cong chose McCain to remain at the Hanoi Hilton. One could speculate that he gave them anti American information in return for his life. This IMO is as relevant as the links they speculate exist Obama has with Ayres. Perhaps the liberal media should investigate. McCain's infidelity with Cindy make me wonder if he cheated on his wife and family why would he be even remotely truthful to me and the American public. I have wondered this about him since his first run for pres
    Good point. But I think part of the reason why they kept McCain was because he told them that his daddy was an admiral, and he thought they'd let him go. Instead they kept his dumb ass as a bargaining chip.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    ^He also gave them information though, on his bombing missions and where the US Navy was targeting.

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    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    Corpus Christi, Texas, March 12, 1960
    McCain was practicing landings in his AD-6 Skyraider over Corpus Christi Bay
    when he lost several hundred feet of altitude "without realizing it" and struck
    the water, according to the Naval Aviation Safety Center accident report on
    file at the Naval Historical Center in Washington.

    The plane, a single-engine propeller plane designed for ground attack, sank
    10 feet to the bottom of the bay. McCain swam to the surface and was
    plucked from the water by a rescue helicopter.
    I wish this article would say if this happened at night time or during the day. If it happened at night the altitude loss would be more excusable. It's easy to loose altitude without knowing it at night. This is almost exactly what happened to Eastern Airlines Flight 401, right down to the landing gear distraction.

    Pilots always say, "There are old pilots. There are bold pilots. But there are no old-bold pilots."

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