On Feb 2, 1970 a flight of four F-106s were scheduled to depart Malmstrom AFB, including F-106A 58-0787 flown by Captain Gary Foust for 2 v 2 ACM
training. During preparation for departure, one of the aircraft, flown by Larry McBride suffered a drag chute deployment. The flight continued as a
three ship, 2 v 1.
During ACM, the solo F-106, flown by Tom Curtis, merged with the two, taking on Captain Foust. He forced the fight vertical, into a vertical rolling
scissors. During the vertical portion of the flight, he forced Capt Foust to perform a high G rudder reversal at around 38,000 feet, which led to
post stall gyrations, and eventually to a stall. After the aircraft stalled it entered a left hand flat spin.
A flat spin in an F-106 is almost impossible to recover from, but Capt Foust tried everything, including activating take-off trim (this comes into
play later). As he passed through 15,000 feet, per the book, his wingman urged him to eject, as there was no sign of the aircraft slowing the
Immediately after Capt Foust ejected, 0787 recovered to a wings level position, and flew out of sight, apparently under perfect control. His wingman
is reported to have said over the radio after it recovered, "Gary, you better get back in!"
A little while later, Major Wolford, the Chief of Maintenance of the 71st FIS received a call from a local sheriff that there was a fighter sitting in
a wheat field, engine running, and they wanted to know how to shut it off.
A depot team from Sacramento came in, and removed the wings, and transported the entire aircraft by train to the depot (Major Wolford wanted to fly it
out, but the belly damage was too severe). After a time in the depot, the aircraft was returned to service, until its retirement to the Air Force
Museum where it can be seen today.
Very cool, Beeblebrox! This is one of those storys you never expect to hear turn out ok. If one entered a stall and was seemingly unrecoverable,
forcing ejection, one would conclude immediate crash, not for the plane to self correct and fly on out to some wheat field S&F for a good story sir
That is fascinating, like the previous poster said , is bet the open cockpit had a lot to do with it righting itself.
I grew up watching the 106's at the local ANG base in those days you could walk right up to the fence and be only fifty feet from the engine test
I believe the the squadron was one of the last if not the last to fly them operationally. They went to F4s in the mid /late 70s then F16s in the
80's. What's weird is that they are flying F18s and 16s now, and next year they go to F15s.
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