Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
Richmond Nationals Crash

 

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

piper17  (D 3362)

Dec 22, 2007, 7:53 AM
Post #1 of 35 (3920 views)
Shortcut
Richmond Nationals Crash Can't Post

Here is a shot of the DC-3 that crashed on take-off at Richmond, IN. I believe the year was 1978. Chris Price was in the left seat but I don't know who was in the right on that load. I had been flying with Chris up until this load but my 10-way team was called and I had to go jump.

I had been flying DC-3s out of IND in 1977-78 for the company that crashed and killed the U of Evansville basketball team and missed that crash as I had flown a FedEx freight run the night before. I knew Chris and Bob Branch and was asked to fly right seat with Chris as they needed an experienced 3 pilot. I got lucky twice in one year!
Attachments: Richmond Nationals.jpg (49.8 KB)


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Dec 22, 2007, 4:08 PM
Post #2 of 35 (3822 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jim,

Wasn't that the one where one of the jumpers just jumped out, thinking she going over, and into a cornfield? As I recall he was only really bruised a bunch.

Jerry Baumchen


SKYWHUFFO  (D License)

Dec 22, 2007, 4:33 PM
Post #3 of 35 (3812 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Wasn't this the plane that the pilot kept coming in steep all day and finally folded the front landing gear?
I remember both, I was only about 9 or 10. I also remember a DC3 being damaged but landed when a floater had a premature deployment that pulled him back into the tail then streamered down to the south east of the airport. anyone remember that???? I would stand all day stareing at the sky at the nationals and saying someday I will do that. See somthing good came out of the Richmond Nationals! HA!


lekstrom10k  (D 3001)

Dec 22, 2007, 4:56 PM
Post #4 of 35 (3807 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

  If I recall He had a severly broken arm and or shoulder. I also believe he sued USPA and others. I also recall he used the money to take flying lessons.


SKYWHUFFO  (D License)

Dec 22, 2007, 5:09 PM
Post #5 of 35 (3798 views)
Shortcut
Re: [lekstrom10k] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

no, this guy they said was probably gone before he hit the ground. My brother in law is a Sheriff and worked all the nationals and we talk time to time about some of the stuff. He was the officer that had to take a couple of guys down when they decided to take a beacon ride the last year it was in Richmond. I know the one incident you are talking about too. he went down north of the airport behind the cemetery if i remember right. They had a heck of a time getting to him. Great place to have a big gathering. I wish the nationals would make a one year return or the richmond boogie would grow instead of declining each year.


piper17  (D 3362)

Dec 22, 2007, 5:55 PM
Post #6 of 35 (3776 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Someone did go out the door as it was crashing and suffered some injuries but I can't remember exactly what. Someone sitting at the "hamburger door" (the cockpit emergency exit) got hit by a prop and was pretty dinged up.

What happened to cause the crash (as I recall and I am not going to swear that this is exactly what happened) was a turnbuckle in the elevator control cable hung up on a rib. The cable had worn a groove in the rib. I recall (vaguely) that there was an old AD to correct the problem but this aircraft had recently come into the US from Canada and this AD had been missed. When Chris realized he had a control problem was right at V2, he pulled the power off just as the aircraft popped off the ground. I don't think it got up more than about 20 feet in the air. His quick reactions prevented a much more serious crash.

That's the best I can do with this thirty year-old memory. Chris Price would be the best one to ask about this.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Dec 22, 2007, 6:42 PM
Post #7 of 35 (3766 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi piper17 & lekstrom,

If I remember correctly, the guy who was sitting in the plane and was hit by the prop was the guy who sued. I do not recall the 'jumper' sueing anyone.

JerryBaumchen


darkwing  (D 4164)

Dec 22, 2007, 7:16 PM
Post #8 of 35 (3758 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

I recall the incident. I remember being glad we weren't on that load. I think the jumper than exited the plane somewhat before it stopped was a guy named Dennis Murphy, but I'm not sure. I don't recall a serious injury, but something broken strikes a chord of possibility in my faded memories. I also recall a lawsuit. I don't recall the outcome.


Zing  (D 6343)

Dec 22, 2007, 8:25 PM
Post #9 of 35 (3749 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't there, but what I recall is that the prop walked through and injured two people. Seems to me Bullet Betty from Northern California suffered a broken leg.
I don't remember the guy's name, but I was told that the guy who sued was standing up with his wrist through an overhead strap. When the load shifted, his wrist stayed put and a lot of joints, tendons and nerves were torn. He got a settlement, but I don't recall how much, and was villified by the jump community.
I haven't seen Chris Price since he was flying a fire tanker out of Coolidge in the early 80s.


tbrown  (D 6533)

Dec 22, 2007, 10:43 PM
Post #10 of 35 (3731 views)
Shortcut
Re: [darkwing] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I recall the incident. I remember being glad we weren't on that load. I think the jumper than exited the plane somewhat before it stopped was a guy named Dennis Murphy, but I'm not sure. I don't recall a serious injury, but something broken strikes a chord of possibility in my faded memories. I also recall a lawsuit. I don't recall the outcome.

The guy who sued was Dennis Murphy. He was a member of the Unity 8 Way team from Pope Valley that year. He was also "expelled for life" from USPA for his lawsuit, which was aimed at everyone from USPA to Douglas Aircraft for having built the plane. Apparently USPA re-instated him sometime later (way to go...), as I've seen him out at Perris at the '04 and '05 Nationals competing in the Classic Style event.

I was at the '78 Nationals for the boogie they held between the Style & Accuracy and RW events and had jumped out of 873 several times at the boogie. I heard that the pilot had managed to skid the plane sideways, snapping off the landing gear through a cornfield. Rough as it was, there were NO deaths, though at least one of the jumpers was too fupped duck to ever jump again. There was also some story that somebody hadn't removed some chocks from the horizontal stabilizers, which had caused the plane to stall on takeoff, but I don't know if that's true or not.

IMHO Murphy should never have been reinstated or been allowed to compete in the Nationals ever again, but that's between USPA and God on Judgement Day.


piper17  (D 3362)

Dec 23, 2007, 5:30 AM
Post #11 of 35 (3706 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tbrown] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

The part about the control locks for the horizontal stabilizer is NOT true. See my description of the event above.

The DC-3 crash in Evansville, IN on 13 Dec 77 with the University of Evansville basketball team WAS caused by the rudder lock and aileron lock being left in place compounded by a weight/balance issue. I was a pilot for that company at the time and, as I stated before, had been flying right seat with Chris until this load.

There was a theory being put about at the USPA Awards Banquet that year that the Evansville crash might have been attributed to the same control cable issue as the Richmond crash (and some from the FAA were at the banquet as I recall) but the NTSB report for Evansville identified control locks and weight/balance. There were other issues beyond that in the Evansville crash that were either not discovered or ignored but that's another story. I should imagine that there is an NTSB report for Richmond as well....but, perhaps not.


JSBIRD  (D 9968)

Dec 23, 2007, 8:22 AM
Post #12 of 35 (3670 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Like Jim M said in his very first posts, jammed controls/cables lead to a loss of control, and had nothing to do with the intentional control locks.
Here is the NTSB report of the incident http://www.ntsb.gov/...id=40565&key=0#/

Hope this will help settle the cause issue.

BASE359


(This post was edited by JSBIRD on Dec 23, 2007, 9:53 AM)


WGore  (D 3379)

Dec 23, 2007, 12:41 PM
Post #13 of 35 (3633 views)
Shortcut
Re: [SKYWHUFFO] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
no, this guy they said was probably gone before he hit the ground. My brother in law is a Sheriff and worked all the nationals and we talk time to time about some of the stuff. He was the officer that had to take a couple of guys down when they decided to take a beacon ride the last year it was in Richmond. I know the one incident you are talking about too. he went down north of the airport behind the cemetery if i remember right. They had a heck of a time getting to him. Great place to have a big gathering. I wish the nationals would make a one year return or the richmond boogie would grow instead of declining each year.

That Fatality was at one of the boogies and out of a D-18 Beech. The jumper was wearing conventional gear and had a premature deployment of the main. The main went over the horizontal stabilizer and the reserve fired when he hit and went under the stabilizer. The main lift web broke on one side and the connector link severed the reserve riser on the other side releasing the canopy. The main streamered because of a broken riser IIRC. Death was caused by a ruptured aorta according to the Medical Examiner, and was almost immediate.
The horizontal was only held on by the last spar which anchored the elevator. The pilot who was pretty new at flying D-18s recovered the aircraft from a spin at around 6000ft, at which time the rest of the load exited.. I beleive the year was 77' but wouldn't swear to it without checking my log books.


(This post was edited by WGore on Dec 23, 2007, 1:32 PM)


rwcat  (D License)

Jun 15, 2008, 9:25 PM
Post #14 of 35 (3382 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Lot of incorrect info posted, but some is accurate. See rwcat's post under DC-3's for some clarifications.


gjhdiver  (D 7731)

Jun 20, 2008, 9:51 AM
Post #15 of 35 (3200 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tbrown] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

IMHO Murphy should never have been reinstated or been allowed to compete in the Nationals ever again, but that's between USPA and God on Judgement Day.

Dennis jumps at Lodi in CA, a non-USPA drop zone, so it's moot whether USPA would allow him to be a member or not. I believe that not only has he competed at Nationals regularly in the Classics, but that he's also represented the US in the World Meets in those disciplines.


stratostar  (Student)

Jun 20, 2008, 11:41 AM
Post #16 of 35 (3176 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

Not the same year as the crash, but cool none the less.Wink
Attachments: 79-Boogie-patch.jpg (83.8 KB)
  79-Nats-patch.jpg (88.2 KB)


tbrown  (D 6533)

Jun 20, 2008, 2:08 PM
Post #17 of 35 (3144 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The part about the control locks for the horizontal stabilizer is NOT true. See my description of the event above.

I'm glad to hear that after all these years. I always wondered how a pilot could overlook something like that, and the control cable explanation makes so much more sense.

The lesson in this is that I read it somewhere, because somebody put it into print. Iyt's been so many years that I can't even remember where I read it. Just goes to show that you can't believe everything you read, not in print OR on the web. Second lesson is that this is how a bunk story like that makes its way into popular folklore.

By the way, I was at the '78 Nationals Boogie and made several jumps from 873 in the week before the crash. The weather was crappy right up until the 4th of July, which was beautiful. Then the meet management decided to extend the boogie one more day into team practice day, to make up for all the lousy days earlier in the week.


(This post was edited by tbrown on Jun 20, 2008, 2:10 PM)


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jun 22, 2008, 1:36 PM
Post #18 of 35 (3071 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piper17] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

Couple more pics, scans from Parachutist.

HW
Attachments: DC3-1.jpg (80.2 KB)
  DC3-2.jpg (103 KB)


thegirlnextdoor

Mar 15, 2011, 8:06 PM
Post #19 of 35 (2332 views)
Shortcut
Re: [darkwing] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

The jumper who exited the plane into the cornfield was named Pete Levy. He broke his leg badly in a spiral break, and had to have it pinned in about 17 places. I visited him in the hospital, so I know. And no, I did not know him.

The jumper who wrecked his arm was Ray Catlette. It was a terrible injury, and he loss the use of his arm.

Dennis Murphy actually sued USPA in a long and expensive legal battle to be reinstated to USPA so he could return to Competition, after he was banned from USPA for LIFE for jumping off of El Capitan without a permit.

jeanni Mccombs (RIP) was also banned from USPA for LIFE for it.

It was "cruel and unusual" punishment. And ridiculous treatment of 2 people with a lifetime dedication to skydiving.


blongb  (D 2717)

Mar 15, 2011, 8:26 PM
Post #20 of 35 (2328 views)
Shortcut
Re: [thegirlnextdoor] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

The jumper who wrecked his arm was Ray Catlette. It was a terrible injury, and he loss the use of his arm.

Ray told me he had his hand in the assist strap (to help getting into the cockpit from the main cabin. During the crash his arm was "stretched"; very nasty injury.


airtwardo  (D License)

Mar 15, 2011, 10:06 PM
Post #21 of 35 (2318 views)
Shortcut
Re: [thegirlnextdoor] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

It was "cruel and unusual" punishment. And ridiculous treatment of 2 people with a lifetime dedication to skydiving.
Maybe it's just me....BUT~

Ordinarily a 'lifetime of dedication to the sport' doesn't include trying to sue the governing organization out of existence.


Snowwhite

Mar 16, 2011, 4:26 PM
Post #22 of 35 (2261 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It was "cruel and unusual" punishment. And ridiculous treatment of 2 people with a lifetime dedication to skydiving.

Maybe it's just me....BUT~

Ordinarily a 'lifetime of dedication to the sport' doesn't include trying to sue the governing organization out of existence.

I only copied this, because it is SOO True and worth repeating!


thegirlnextdoor

Mar 17, 2011, 12:52 AM
Post #23 of 35 (2233 views)
Shortcut
Re: [thegirlnextdoor] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

When the plane went in at Richmond, the prop came THROUGH the side of the plane. The prop lifted up Swoop's leg and PINNED it by the cloth of his jumpsuit leg, about head high on the inside wall of the plane. As I recall, it broke his leg. They cut a swatch out of the leg of his jumpsuit to get him down.

I went in the plane by myself that night where it still lay in the cornfield, and I saw the scrap of Swoop's jumpsuit pinned BY THE PROP to the wall. It was a sight I shan't forget.


vanair  (D 8360)

Mar 17, 2011, 5:30 AM
Post #24 of 35 (2225 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tbrown] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

In 1974 Orange Mass, DC-3 takeoff. I, 17 yr old novice jumper. Takeoff roll were all sitting cool no helmets or seatbelts , all normal, tail comes up, all of a sudden the plane swerves violently from side to side, I think the pilot was trying to steer with brakes. We all pile on the floor, a mass of bodies in the fetal position. Pilot chops power, comes to stop. 5,000' + runway. Copilot come back, goes outside comes back in with the rudder lock. We all cheer hoop and holler and generally Raz them. Next T.O we all have our seatbelts and helmets on, all goes well. Funny I forget the jump but I'll never forget that T.O. attempt. Things happen, people are human. Yes the pilots screwed up, but all of us climbed up into that plane past the rudder with lock on. I was a kid but I'm sure some of the jumpers were pilots, or just an experienced jumper could have said, " hey, shouldn't that thing be off?" I think that was the pilots last day, not sure.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Mar 17, 2011, 8:44 AM
Post #25 of 35 (2201 views)
Shortcut
Re: [vanair] Richmond Nationals Crash [In reply to] Can't Post

The pilot was a retired Eastern Airlines captain with, as I recall, about 39,000 hours.
I was there and saw it.

HW


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Skydiving History & Trivia

 


Search for (options)