Incident Grumman F-14A Tomcat 159001,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 265880
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Date:Tuesday 14 January 1975
Type:Silhouette image of generic F14 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Grumman F-14A Tomcat
Owner/operator:United States Navy (USN)
Registration: 159001
MSN: 062
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:USS Enterprise -   Indian Ocean
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
"Second F-14 Tomcat" crashed into the sea at USS Enterpise within two days. [sic]*

Grumman F-14A-70-GR 159001 NK-112 of VF-1 "Wolfpack" suffered an engine explosion during take-off, leading to the loss of the aircraft. Both crew members ejected safely.

The F-14A had entered operational service with VF-1 and VF-2 in September 1974. The loss of 159001 was the second loss of a VF-1 Tomcat in quick succession (after 158982 NK-107 on January 2nd 1975).

The two losses were traced to the design of the TF30-P-412 axial flow turbofans, which were originally designed for use on the F-111. With the after-burner selected, quick manipulation of the throttle could lead to the burner failing to light, leading to the second fan stage to flutter and overstress. The titanium containment ring intended to contain fan blades in case of a blade failure had been constructed too lightly for weight saving purposes, meaning it was not up to the task: as a result, ruptured blades would cause damage to the airframe and other critical components in the vicinity of the second fan stage.

An inspection of the aircraft of VF-1 in the aftermath of the losses of 158982 and 159001 revealed three further aircraft with cracked containment rings. As a result, monitoring on the second stage fan was increased while a program was implemented to contain fragments and protect components in the event of future incidents.

*Note: USS Enterprise suffered two accidents in two days time: on January 13th, Grumman EA-6B Prowler 158812 - NOT a Tomcat - was lost during take-off with the loss of one crew member.


The Straits Times 15 January 1975, p1

Revision history:

24-Jul-2021 13:27 TB Added
15-Jul-2023 05:53 Anon Updated

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