1970: Blue Angels F4 landing hard

April 13, 2007 at 9:13 pm 10 comments

1970 Blue Angel

Story and info about this picture.

5/29/07:  Edited to add this link.  The pilot of plane above posted some comments on this thread at Airshowbuzz.com


Entry filed under: Airshows, aviation.

Behind the scenes of TOR Convertable fighter jets

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. singlepilot.net » 1970: Blue Angels F4 landing hard  |  May 29, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    […] post by Mike Souders and software by Elliott […]

  • 2. DJ  |  January 23, 2008 at 9:47 am


    • 3. tty  |  September 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm

      wow that was tragek

  • 4. Jeff Shonkwiler  |  March 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve been looking for this picture. I was at the end of the runway just about this distance away when he landed. I kept the program and newsclippings for years but have since lost them.

  • 5. dennis barrett  |  July 9, 2008 at 3:11 am

    I was in the radio jeep at the end of the runway trying to
    contact the pilot because we had glasses on him and saw
    that the gear doors were open, but the gear was still up.

    Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t forget the gear; it had been
    extended and as I recall the pilot showed the lights as being on
    the way down. He went into a perfect flair and down he went.

    Followd him down the runway, watching him work the rudder
    pedals all the way to the intersection of the runways to stay out
    of the crowd before he punched out. We had to swerve to
    keep from hitting the canopy when it landed and saw the
    pilots chute coming down in front of us. Darned fine job
    of piloting for being on the belly of the bird

    The heat when he touched down about 20-25 yards directly
    in front of us was intense to say the least.

    Another thread mentioned the mayor. I don’t think it was Bob
    Johnson as suggested; I’m pretty sure it was Don Caney
    at that point, especially as he was still mayor in ’91.

  • 6. zachary siefer  |  October 29, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    i was there as well. when he came down he hit the belly hard i was in the crowd and i had some great pics but i have lost them since.when the plane was salvaged the gear dorrs wwere meesed up and the were all crumpled in. thats the cause for the popular belief that the pilot forgot the gear

  • 7. Dave Kent  |  February 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Hey Dennis,
    Contact me at the above email address please
    Dave Kent
    #3 F4 Crew Chief (Ernie C) in 69
    Blue Angel Alumni Assoc. Email Co-Ordinator

  • 8. Rich Keane  |  February 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I was a crew member on the team at that show
    the gear doors are connected to the landing gear so the doors cannot open with the gear up. When we inspected the plane after it was put on the flat bed trailer ( of which I still have pic’s I took )
    The gear handle was in the up position & the emergency blow down was not pulled. One of the crew pulled the handle to blow the gear down and the gear tried to deploy.

    Rich Keane
    Historian Blue Angels Alumni Associan
    Crew Chief #3 / Power Plants

  • 9. Mongo  |  October 14, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Actually, the inboard gear doors are not mechanically linked to the, but are hydraulically actuated as part of the gear down sequence. The outboard doors are mechanically connected to the struts, so wherever the struts go the doors go also.

    IIRC, the pilot was Ernie ‘Ratchet’ Christiansen, who later became Battle Group Commander on the Midway.

  • 10. Noel Rodriguez  |  December 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I agree with Rich Keane’s comments

    For more details of this story check out:



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