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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 57220
Last updated: 15 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman A-6E Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-128, US Navy
Registration: 155688
MSN: I-414
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:NAF El Centro, 6 miles NW of El Centro, Imperial County, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:NAF El Centro, California (NJK/KNJK)
Destination airport:NAF El Centro, California (NJK/KNJK)
A-6E Intruder BuNo. 155688/NJ-826 of VA-128, US Navy, based at Whidbey Island NAS. Crashed January 14, 1987 whilst practicing dive-bombing missions at the El Centro Naval Base six miles (10 km) northwest of El Centro, in Imperial County, California, USA. Left wing broke off the aircraft at an altitude of about 8,000 feet

This accident resulted in an investigation of the structural health and projected lifetime of the A-6 fleet. At the time of the accident, U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Bob Pandis and his bombardier/navigator, Lieutenant Colonel John Cavin, were practicing dive-bombing missions at the El Centro Naval Base in California. During a 40-deg diving run at about 500 knots, the left wing of their A-6E broke off the aircraft at an altitude of about 8,000 ft and the aircraft began to spin wildly out of control.

Prior to this accident, 72 A-6 aircraft had been temporarily grounded and another 109 were operating under flight restrictions. The Boeing Company had begun to design a new wing under a Navy contract that was awarded in 1985. With a carbon fiber-epoxy resin torsion box, light alloy control surfaces, and some titanium components, the new wing was much lighter and designed for four times the fatigue life of the existing wing. The composite wing was retrofitted to about 200 A-6E aircraft, which significantly increased the aircraft's capability, safety, and operational life. In addition to becoming a retrofit for the A-6E fleet, the wing was also intended for a new, advanced version of the A-6 to be known as the A-6F. The A-6F was later canceled in the prototype stage when the Navy decided to replace the A-6 fleet with the stealth A-12 aircraft.

Of the two crew - the pilot - 1st. Lt Robert S. Pandis ejected, but suffered major injuries. The bombardier/navigator - Lieutenant Colonel John Cavin died in the crash



Revision history:

10-Jan-2009 11:55 ASN archive Added
27-Nov-2011 11:34 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Country, Source, Narrative]
03-Apr-2016 21:15 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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