Originally Posted By Frank_The_Tank:
Originally Posted By slanted:
My dad flew these... AF-2S Guardians
"the largest single-engine, piston-engined aircraft ever used by the US Navy"
But it is no C-130.
btw, they flew as a pair.. the hunter with all the electronics and radar and the killer with stuff that goes boom.
Not as cool as the nuclear depth charge, but that is a story for another thread.
Thanks, that is a rare and obscure Naval aircraft I did't know about. Have anymore info about it or your fathers tales please share...
I don't think AFs were considered a very good aircraft. It had a relatively short service life and was replaced by the S-2. I think he really enjoyed flying the S-2 and that is the aircraft he made the majority of his 900+ carrier landings in, many at night.
The one AF story he tells is set in the early 1950's (April 1952?) at the now infamous GITMO Naval base. His squadron was flying out of GITMO and would meet up with a carrier to practice landings. In one day they wrecked 3 AFs! Fortunately he was not involved in any of the incidents.
The first incident involved a hunter aircraft that took off normally from Windward field, but when the gear was raised, only one side went up. The pilot decided to circle around and bring the plane back in. Only when he lowered the gear, one side when down and the other went up.
He circled trying to raise and lower the gear, but each time one wheel would go up and the other would go down!
The pilot decided to try a landing at the Leeward field since it had a crosswind at the time and might allow him to crash at a slower speed. He was able to land on one wheel and the radar dome that sits under the hunter. The damage was minor and the crew was able to lock down the other wheel so the plane could be ferried back to the Windward field for repairs. It turns out the mechanics put in the wrong hydraulic valve.
After that fun, another pilot attempted to take off and was buffeted by a headwind. He tried to abort but was going too fast and ended up skidding over a cliff at the end of the runway and into the ocean. By the time crews made it to the water the pilot was climbing ashore, wet but in one piece.
The final wreck happened on the carrier late in the day. The same hunter from the morning's incident with a different pilot was attempting carrier landings. He landed extremely hard and broke the aircraft in two.